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So Josh and I are in Colombia.  So far, I love love love this country. The people are terrifyingly friendly, the beer is good (much better than in Venezuela, home to the WORST BEERS EVER) and the landscape is beautiful. Unfortunately most of those wonderful qualities are a result of the terrible things going on in Colombia. I find countries who have had recent (or in Colombia’s case, ongoing) “disputes” to have the friendliest, and most welcoming people. Colombia has not proved my theory wrong. The beautiful scenery is a result of the vast amount of land mines planted throughout Colombia (the lush scenery is literally untouchable). Didya know that Colombia ranks no. 3 in the world for victims of land mine blasts, and claims something like 3 people a day?

Colombia is certainly a country with its fair share of problems. In the latin American travel scene, two countries have pretty bad reputations for crime and overall dangerousness; Colombia and Venezuela. I certainly feel much safer here than in Venezuela. Colombia doesn’t even feel sketchy or unfriendly at all. Rather, it feels quite developed and peaceful. You wouldn’t even know there’s a war going on. That being said, I am visiting this country at a very good time. Alvaro Uribe (the prez of Colombia) seems to be at the height of his FARC eradication plans/hard line military leadership. If anyone’s been following the news in the past year or so, you’ll recall there were some major events concerning FARC. Their leader died last year, and a few other regional leaders were captured by military forces. Apparently FARC’s new leader has some pretty crazy plans he’s hoping to carry out in the next little while, mainly targeting urban centres. However, that times does not appear to be right now!

So far driving in Colombia (which has consisted of driving about 1000kms from the Venezuelan border to Bogota) has been very peaceful. There are military checkstops everywhere on the highways, and random soldiers just keeping watch with gigantic machine guns. Like HUUUUGE guns. We’ve found tonnes of very friendly mountain hotels where you can eat and sleep for $15, and they couldn’t feel any safer.

We’ve also visited some crazy beautiful colonial towns, and some freezing cold mountain villages.

So far the biggest danger we’ve been faced with is the aguardiente, aka “firewater”. I think you know what that means. It tastes like juice, goes down smooth, and has a high percentage of alcohol. You can buy aguardiente (and rum!) in tetra packs here. They even sell juice box sized portions.

Otherwise, what can I say about this place? The cuisine is decent (lot’s of rice, beans, and plantain) and they have the most delicious soft drink in the world (Colombiana) and people seem to shower with hot water. Also, everyone loves Henry.  I am in love.

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