So I’m in the van, a plan 8 months in the making and a few hundred dollars worth of travel. It’s a 1994 Mitsubishi Delica L300 “Star Wagon”, and being Japanese, you likely haven’t heard of it. There’s a law in the States that foreign vehicles must be over 25 years old to import them. Or needs to have been produced for 25 yrs for legal importation, which the Delia hasn’t yet, thus none in the US. I may have that a little wrong, or completely wrong. ¿Lo me sigas?
It’s been a little over three weeks since I flew into Santiago, Chile and Ian scooped me up. Homeboy is an old friend who I bounced around with in Central America late last year. He left our hostel in Medellín the day after Christmas and I haven’t seen him since. As of now, we’ve made it almost 2,000 kilometers north and we sit on a beach in Iquique now getting ready to pass out in the back. This is the Atacama Desert, the driest (non-polar) place on earth.
Not sure why I waited two more months before adding wings to this fantasyland of a blog. Do you ever say, “Oh hey imma do that right after this”….and that goes on for a few months? It’s especially hard to keep up with things that don’t even matter and on the radar of maybe only my mom and me, such as, well, here.
Anyway, last we spoke I was living the bachelor dream in a slick wood-floor nest in the Chapinero neighborhood of stay-classy Bogotá, Colombia. I took care of two full tourist visas there (for a total of 180 days), made some bomb new friends and even dated a girl. Not a misprint on that last point. Seriously, quit asking, it actually happened… But it was good that phase ended. Bogotá is quite cramped and you tend to get caught up in that fast paced energy and blah blah blah. Plus I just wanted to move on.
Last weekend I ventured outside of Bogotá for the first time since moving here, out over the mountains to Los Llanos, which translates to “The Plains”. If you gander at a map of this area of the world you will notice Colombia is split by mountains and to the south-east we have a huge area of vast space. This flat space continues east across the entire continent through Colombia, into Venezuela, then Guyana, Suriname and then to the Atlantic. This area of the Andes is a neat line so once you’re into the foot of the mountain chain, you can see nothing but space. A lot like where Colorado City is situated for The Rockies, which brings back a memory or two.
Keep in mind that Colombia has among the highest diversity of plants in the world. This is almost totally attributed to elevation, and lots of it in the small place. The foot of the Andes were Los Llanos begins is a great place to see some of that change. Check out that flower from space!
I got a little feedback from a few of you looking for slightly more frequent yet shorter posts, which is an idea I can get behind. I used to stress a bit about nice fat posts with “lots of interesting photos and stuff”. Why not just one city at a time my friend Cheryl said? Great idea! Also I’ve gotten a sizeable number of complaints since building this fine piece of real estate that the whole talking and working our way backwards was a bit confusing. That’s fine too, I can make a small concession for my readers (but small, this isn’t going to become a habit or anything).