Highlights from one year of travelling (2010-11)

It was an amazing year and I can’t believe we are home. Here are some of the best bits (along side ratings as you would expect from us): Brazil (8.5/10) Staying in the cool neighbourhood of Santa Teresa in a lovely pousada (Rio) Dancing the samba and getting drunk in Lapa (Rio) Watching the World…

Coffee and cowboys

Colombia is the world’s third largest producer of coffee (after Brazil and Vietnam) so a trip to the Zona Cafetera was a must on our itinerary. We travelled to a town called Manizales about seven hours west of Bogota by bus. From there we took a rattly jeep to the coffee farm owned by Juan…

Crocodiles on the beach in Colombia

I’d never realised that Colombia had a stretch of Caribbean coast, but it has some lovely beaches, as we discovered, in Tayona National Park. We slept in hammocks just behind the beach which was pristine with turquoise water and backed by jungle. Our only worries were avoiding falling coconuts and the odd cayman which ventured…

Ants on a hangover

After a boozy night drinking with the locals (and a few Brits) in the town square followed by a very Colombian salsa club, we took a local bus to a small village called Barichara. The town was justly famous for its lovely colonial streets but more importantly (for us anyway) it had a restaurant which specialised…

Colombia: leave your preconceptions at home

Colombia was definitely the most controversial destination on our itinerary.¬†Many people questioned our desire to visit it (including the Foreign Office). However, (nearly) gone are the days of cocaine cartels, Pablo Escobar and paramilitaries. It is now firmly on the backpacker circuit and seems to be one of the safest Latin American countries. We landed…