Sunday, 13 January 2013



Medellin, Antioquia

October 14th, 2011

Yesterday evening I went to bed really early. I was completely knackered. So, I woke up early this morning, did my TEFL homework and arranged private lessons to survive this coming month in the internet cafe at the hostel. Feeling kind of weirdo for working at such early bird hours, I headed to the city center. At Poblado metro station, I tasted a very weird fruit: a mix of guava berry and pear. Tasty but still felt my stomach rumbling. So I checked the map and remembered I had been advised to visit Santa Helena bakery. It's a very traditional place in Medellin where baked goods are extremely nice. After asking for directions and having my coffee, I decided to take a walking tour in the area and ended up in Parque de la Luz. It was sunny and hot. There were performers, jugglers and skateboarders playing their tricks. I stared at them from the top of EPM library and their outfits made me think they make a good shot for a website like the Sartorialist or something. A pic. The maximum answer I could get from them was no if I dared to asked them. And that was not enough excuse to stay up there just looking. 

Off I went to take my Sartorialist-ish photo. I approached them slowly like a meerkat, I'm exaggerating here, and asked right away if I could take a pic. Sure! they replied. I was thrilled! They reminded me of a similar picture I took in Sao Paulo, Brasil to a complete family of skateboarders. What I like the most about taking pictures of strangers is their attittude. That is why I love the Sartorialist. I still get surprised by the amount of information a photograph can capture. I wish I had these Sartorialist-ish shots everytime I travel or go out of my place. In Bogota it is not easy to get people to pose. It's a cold and hostile city where people just don't trust or flow with strangers, I guess. But I have never dared to ask anyone to pose in the street for me. Probably, it's just a prejudice of mine and there's only one way to crack that down :)



Sunday, 6 January 2013

Easter 2010

Tues, March 30th, 2010. 10 pm
San Gil, Santander
Weather: Cloudy, a bit chilly

As my tripmate Monica and me had agreed yesterday, we got up early to get ready to go to Parque Nacional del Chicamocha. The travel agent's picked us up in the Inn and took us to Curití first. Curití means " town of weavers". And that is very true! Locals weave "fique" that is a natural fiber taken from a tropical plant (Angiopermae Furcraea). They make decorative items, bags, rugs, hair pins and the like. We visited a factory where locals process this fiber. This process includes shredding, washing, combing and dying. I saw all the devices they use to carry out this steps and they imply a lot of physical work! Everything is done manually. When the fiber is ready, it is given to women who are heads of household. They weave beautiful rugs, bags, earrings, necklaces. They have organized their products in different stores around the principal park of the town and a website too . So nice to see people getting together to make a business work!

After Curití, we headed to Parque Nacional del Chicamocha. When we got there, it started to rain, RAIN! Then it was not just rain, it was pouring and foggy! The idea of visiting this place is to get a great view of the Chicamocha Canyon which is one of the biggest in the world! And it was thickly foggy and cloudy. We couldn't see a thing after taking the cable to climb up 6.3 Km to Mesa de los Santos, a view point where we could have an astonishing view of the canyon but I got astonished by the thickness of the fog and the chilly wind up there. The same had happned to Monica when she visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona, US. Tough Luck, I thought. Nevermind. We had to wait in a shop for 2 long hours until the rain stopped and the cable car started working again. The sky cleared up and Monica could take some pictures, finally. We were relieved to see at least the Chicamocha river in a misty foggy mood.

After this cold, rainy visit to this park, we visited another town called Aratoca. Another little town with nice colonial architecture. We stopped to taste the typical bread here but we didn't find it nice so we took loads of pictures. We wanted to do some people watching but I think the locals did some good people watching with us instead :) We got back to San Gil for dinner time. With dried clothes on and completely knackered, we went to look for dinner and our day was over. Hopefully tomorrow won't rain!