Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Begin of South America journey with my twin boys, Daniel and David.

Flag Colombia

Tuesday, April 10 2012

7 years, 8 months, 19 days

Salento, Colombia

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 43,649km

Trekking 927km

Ferry 2,782km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 183,820km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > south-america > colombia > 20120410-salento

My boys, just 5 years and 3 months old, fly solo into Bogota.

Map, Bogota to Medellin to Cali, Colombia.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Some stories are short, this one is short.

All alone on an Iberia flight for 20 hours, but Daniel and David have each other, they arrive in Bogota tired, and I am happy again to have them, the twins, a bit shy this first night in a strange environment.

Always under the van, filling up missing differential oil, this photo one of the boys took with iphone. Bogota, Colombia.
Bogota, filling up diff-oil.

We leave morning 8th of April and I am filling up oil in the differential, my new greasy everyday task which is here to stay till Ecuador. Easter traffic is back to Bogota and frequent halts make for a long and curvy, first rainy and once we are down at Honda on the Magdallene River hot journey, the same Magdallene Christina and I crossed first 1,000kms further north near Barranquilla. Before people on the way from the Caribbean to Bogota had to travel many weeks up on the majestic River before hiking up mountain.

We follow the river downstream to Puerto Triumpfo, a former Pablo Escobar stronghold, Escobar who once controlled 80% of the world cocain trade and was one of 200 billionaires in the world, Robin Hood and gangster, who's plata o plomo, 'accept silver or face lead' policy made Colombia with over 25,000 death the murder capital in 1991 and 1992, he died of police bullets in 1993 and really nothing changed; the drugs trade moved a bit south, from the Medellin to the Cali Cartel.

We camp near by, there is a white round plaza and red bushes, surrounded by a citadel and a church, all feels completely safe.

Boys near Magdallene River, Colombia..
Boys near Magdallene River.
Sides of Magdallene River, central Colombia.
Banks of Magdallene River.

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Past Medellin.

We end up eating pizza in both, Medellin and Cali. Medellin is modern and buzzing and parking harder to find and more expensive than in Hollywood. We are on a mission now, south to the equator and have still 6 degrees to go.

Colombia is a country whose economy has gotten way ahead of its infrastructure, road building in mountainous terrain is going on almost everywhere, we follow a line of trucks through into the night, out of Medellin, on badly marked, narrow, half-finished or just dug up roads, in dust and fog the Pan Americana winds higher, drops back into a valley, around endless bends. In complete darkness it is intuition that helps me take that exit in Santa Barbara; there is a hospital, a small plaza, a tienda that sells beer, all is quiet, the old and young sit in the street, aqui no pasa nada, 'nothing happens here'.

Morning the woman invites Daniel and David to hot chocolate.

Morning boys Santa Barbara, central Colombia.
Morning, Santa Barbara.
My boys run up a street, early morning Santa Barbara, Antioquia, central Colombia.
Santa Barbara.

Morning hot chocolate Santa Barbara, Antioquia, central Colombia.
Morning chocolate.
Mural Santa Barbara, Colombia.
Mural Santa Barbara.

Daniel grimace.
Daniel.
David, grimace.
David.
David, sleeps in van.
David.
Good boy sleeps in van while we drive.
Daniel.

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Manizales, enter coffee route.

With the boys still jet-lagged, they are sleeping a lot and not eating too much apart from pizza, and C. and I on a mission to get to Quito, simply keep driving. Land is beautiful and green around the Cauca River, before we climb and arrive in Manizales, high over 2,000m of elevation, and it is when storm hell breaks lose. Later we discover the coffee plantations all around, Colombia has maybe the best coffee in the world, just local brewing habits are at best lousy, resemble washing dirt and poisoning it with molasses. The best way to fulfill my morning and afternoon caffein addiction is still through nescafe.

Manizales when hell breaks loose. Thunderstorm, Colombia.
Manizales when hell breaks loose.
Coffee plantations everywhere, Colombia coffee route..
Coffee.

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Colors in Salento.

In Pareira I have the diff's oil checked and moved another level up in viscosity to 250, which almost resembles grease. I am losing about a liter, sometimes two a day by the wheel-bearing sealing.

Evening we get to peaceful Salento, which is named after the heel of the Italian boot, we climb with the boys to the mirador on top before settling on the square of painted wooden houses in original bahareque architecture in a dark unlit bar that stashes old records, a Nirvana for us Latin music lovers, we become friendly with the owners and they still try to whack us over the price of a beer; trying to make a living. We find a cheap small restaurant, that serves just one dish, excellent soup, delicious fried trout, just my twin boys refuse eating altogether.

Salento, Colombia.
Salento.
Cafe Salento, Colombia.
Cafe, Salento.

Salento view from hill, Colombia.
Salento from hill.
Salento houses on Plaza Principal, Colombia.
Salento houses on plaza.

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Past Cali thunderstorm and past thunderstorm to Popayan.

I fill up oil in Armenia, then we find Cali, hot and dusty, and an expensive and bad Pizza; our experience of Medellin cannot be reproduced, we drive around, then drive on till thunderstorms and ultra-heavy rains force us to wait it out, while we drink beer and the boys Fanta.

Night we drop onto the white city of Popayán, and there are still post easter celebrations and processions for children going on, in Popayán it rains all night and mornings Daniel and David wear rain gear and we are still, despite our ups and downs and lefts and rights, following the Cauca River upstream and south.

Thunderstorm brewing up, Colombia past Cali going south.
Thunderstorm brewing up.
Sunset after rain, Colombia before Popayan.
After rain.
Boys and rain jackets in front of van, Popayan, Colombia.
Boys, Popayan.
Popayan, rain. Colombia.
Popayan, rain.

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Rough southern Colombian mountains.

Southern Colombia.
Southern Colombia.

Southern Colombia is beautiful, from low to high, at some point we drop to 600m, where Dos Rios is, then climb it all back up and funny the plantations are only on higher grounds, we are close to the equator and all is upside down. For our last night in Colombia we get to Pasto with a heavily smoking, mercilessly hot left back tire. A tight set of break pads heats up when the grease floats around exuberantly. Next day we have the breaks renewed, not so our wheel bearing or axle yet. Then we are out at 0°48' north of the equator and off to Ecuador, and this is a new story.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > south-america > colombia > 20120410-salento

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