Travels in Colombia No.5: Volcan de Totumo

On the Caribbean coast of Colombia is one of the strangest tourists attractions you'll ever find: an isolated clay pot, twenty metres high, bubbling inside with warm, scented mud. Visitors to Volcan de Totumo come to bathe in the mud, receive unctuous massages, and take hilarious selfies. I went to Totumo twice. The first time, … Continue reading Travels in Colombia No.5: Volcan de Totumo

Travels in Colombia No.4: Feria de Manizales

April 18th, 2016The year began excellently, with a week-long stay at the 60th Feria de Manizales in the Eje Cafetero in Caldas Province, Colombia. While we were in Manizales we saw beauty queens, jugglers, birdmen, wild dancers, rappers, artists, street vendors, beggars, tourists, touts and vendors. This is a city that is painted red by … Continue reading Travels in Colombia No.4: Feria de Manizales

Mexico No.3: A Sense of Scale

March 1st to March 3rd, 2015All around the Pacific, the Earth has been sewn up. Like the stitching on a softball, a horseshoe-shaped scar curls around the outer rim of our largest ocean, a forty-thousand kilometre line of crumpled mountains and spewing volcanoes, of active faults and oceanic arcs and marine trenches which all together … Continue reading Mexico No.3: A Sense of Scale

Travels in Colombia No.3: The Cocora Valley

December 30th, 2015What is it that makes an experience unique?Yesterday we discussed this on our walk to our campsite (beyond the 'Al Rio' sign we found at the end of this post). We had believed Salento to be a picturesque little town curled sleepily among the sunlit coffee bushes, waiting to be discovered. Instead, we … Continue reading Travels in Colombia No.3: The Cocora Valley

Mexico No.2: The First Two Weeks

February 11th to February 25th, 2016I love volcanoes. The power, the raw energy, the scale: the reason I came to the Americas. However, the only Reasoning with Volcanoes I did during the first weeks of 2016 was waving to the distant, snow-covered Nevado del Ruiz from the streets of Manizales.I'm happy to say that I have now returned … Continue reading Mexico No.2: The First Two Weeks

Travels in Colombia No.2: The Coffee Zone

December 29th, 2015In the central highlands of Colombia, a crop grows like wildfire. It flourishes on every hill and valley as far as the eye can see: enamelled green leaves with crinkle-cut edges, and glossy, dark red berries hanging like earrings below, spaced out on the vine. Coffee is intimately familiar to me. I associate … Continue reading Travels in Colombia No.2: The Coffee Zone

Travels in Colombia No.1: Street Art in Bogota

December 26th, 2015It's rare that sayings translate directly from one language to another. The English idioms that we throw about willy-nilly rarely have next-door neighbours in Spanish refranes (caso en punto with 'willy-nilly'). There are, however, the occasional exceptions. 'Better late than never' has the equivalent, 'mas vale tarde que nunca' and it's with this … Continue reading Travels in Colombia No.1: Street Art in Bogota