Notice to Friends: I will be in Bogota, Colombia for 2 years and you all have a standing invitation to visit.
December 2010: The One Where I Enjoy All Colombia Offers
Colombia has been amazing. The country is beautiful and I've been fortunate to see more of it lately. I've had four sets of visitors now and have also explored some with my embassy friends. 'Bout it, really.
This update includes the following sections (photos link to slide shows):
Two dear LSE friends came to visit me, Cornelia and Monika Schrod. Both struggled and defeated the LSE econ masters program with me. I'd not seen them since, although we've been in lotsa contact. The girls stayed with me for about two weeks. We traveled to the Caribbean coast and explored Bogota. On our Caribbean travels we visited the walled, colonial city of Cartagena. I had to return from there, but the girls continued on to Parque Nacional Tayrona, which is lovely too. Back in Bogota we hung out like old times. On their last weekened we visited the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira and saw the hilltop sanctuary, Monteserrate. Oh, yeah - we enjoyed a mud volcano bath outside of Cartagena. Click the mud photo above for the slide show.
With some embassy friends I went cycling in southern Santander (one of Colombia's departments (the equivalent of a state)). It was the most epic ride I've been on. And I say that having cycled 1000+ miles on a cycle tour of New Zealand. A great way to describe how tough the ride was is that we cycled for 9.5 hours and only went 28 miles! That's a quick walking pace on flat ground. The mud was thick, unforgiving, clay-like at times, and everywhere. You really got to see the slide show to understand. The highlight was descending a mountain ravine in the dark, while it rained, and in thunder and lightning.
"Attention all: we're doing so well that everyone gets the week off. Thanks." - Apple. That's how the trip came to be. My UCSD Food Co-op friend, Tiffany, works at Apple and due to their success and munificence she got the whole thanksgiving week off. Our trip was great because it was split between Colombia and Ecuador. I'd not been there, so was great for me too. After enjoying Bogota we flew to Quito for a four-day weekend. We packed in sights in Ecuador: Mindo (a community neighboring a tropical cloud forest), a monument to the equator, Papallacta thermal spings, and Quito.
My most recent adventure was to summit San Pablin Sur, a peak in Cocuy National Park. The peak is approximately 17,000 feet. Some friends and I managed to make the 8+ hour drive up to the base, acclimate, summit, and return in one weekend. The highlight was sunday:
I played on a really fun Embassy football team. The highlight of the season was a 24 team embassy tournament. Sadly, we didn't get out of pool play, but it was still really fun. I ended up playing defense - specifically my job was to stop the other team's best striker. I was effective. In fact I neutralized the player who ended up on the winning team and won the golden boot. I know this because by the end he wasn't going up for headers and had retreated to midfield. Below is our team.
Homepage for Chris Darrouzet-Nardi
The journaling on this site reflect solely my own views and opinions.
Updated December 19th, 2010
p.s. part of me wants to go back to 4+ updates a year to prevent the large quantity of time it currently takes per update! It is daunting. we'll see...