Around Bogotá and Medellín

If you know Colombia only from the news, we invite you to sneak a peek past the headlines. An open mind will find a beautiful country, warm and friendly people, wholesome tasty food, and generally a refreshingly uncomplicated atmosphere.

There are many things going on and to do other than flying, so here is a selection of photos offering a glimpse of some of the things we noticed and took part in.

Intro
Glimpses

BOGOTA

Choconta
Sopo

MEDELLIN

Juan Cojo
Matasanos
Serramonte
 
Fresh fruit is available "everywhere all year long." The size of fruit is exceeded only by its quality: excellent.
"Group shot with Gringo." : ) This is what the legendary Paisa hospitality looks like on the slope.
Andres wanted to show us "globos," traditional hot-air balloons, which he made from craft paper.
The globo is powered by a burning oil-soaked rug which is suspended inside by a simple wire frame.
The globo nicely cleared the houses. It drifted off down-wind as we watched it getting smaller.
The "Paisas" are a social bunch. After a nice day of flying, the fun only just begins...
Alejandra about to be beamed up? No, just a reflection off the safety vest which doubles as license plate for motorcycles.
Roberto and Ricardo always find for us cozy and rustic restaurants offering wholesome traditional meals.
The Colombian version of a sandwich shop. Beats our overprocessed and -preserved food, hands-down no contest!
Patricia and Adriana, up to no good as usual, plan ahead for this evening's activities.
Sandra and Laura "camping out" while the manly men fly their important toy airplanes.
For a city of 8 million, Bogotá has many parks. The Monserrate church sits at over 10,000 feet elevation.
And another rustic restaurant feeding a happy group of slopers at the end of the day.
These farmer's children from Chocontá were a little shy, but I broke the ice showing them the Stork.
Somehow these guys even enjoy repairing a helicopter... which is a good thing, I suppose. Note FAI team jackets.
Street scene in Girardota. This bustle is typical of small towns away from the main roads.
Accommodations in a tourist cabin. This one's constructed from compacted mud, a traditional method.
A pretty gazebo for grilling and gathering. The typically nice weather makes it useful year-round.
Anticipating global warming: tree-climbing lessons for smart polar bears in Bogotá.
A single-axle 1-mule-drive cart in down-town Medellín. Seat belts and lights not required...
...in contrast, the modern road heading north out of Medellín to the town of Bello.
A "lechona," the other white meat, stuffed turkey-style with rice, potatoes, vegetables and meat.
If you don't want to eat a whole pig, here is a barbecue including plantains and corn. Notice the wood fire.
Simple brick houses in Medellín. Most have an open atrium and never need heat or air conditioning.
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