Diary Entry

It’s finally starting. Crossing the border took a long time, but finally we are in Colombia. We cross the border river and are welcomed into the country by a sign. Only in the afternoon, even though we were there early in the morning.

We change money and buy fresh SIM cards for the mobile internet right across the border. There are a few huts available as restaurants or kiosks.

We cruise enthusiastically through the Colombian hinterland. It’s the only street far and wide. Individual places are along the route, otherwise we see a lot of jungle and bush around us. But there is clearly more agriculture on the Colombian side than on the Ecuadorian side.

The landscape is beautiful and we are happy to finally drive through tropical areas. We are constantly crossing rivers. When we look for a restaurant to eat, it is not surprising that mainly tilapia, a popular freshwater fish in South America, is offered.

In a place called La Hormiga (“the ant”) we exchange our dollars at a slightly better rate than at the border and buy supper. For the night we find a small amusement park in the middle of nowhere where there is no one and where we can stay for one euro per person. The pool and all other amenities are at our sole disposal. The park is in the middle of the forest near a river. At night we again have a loud orchestra of cicadas for us.

Thunderstorms and rain showers greet us in the morning. We swim despite the light rain and have a long breakfast.

Just as we are about to leave, a rider in a chic cowboy outfit and a perfectly groomed horse is demonstrating dressage on the street in front of us. For Leon, the Caballero shows a few extra tricks.

The man offers Leon that he can sit on the horse, but the little one doesn’t feel comfortable with the horse. So I set a good example and jump in the saddle for Leon.

Eventually it stops raining and we continue our journey. It goes over many rivers and small towns. People are happy to see us. Many people approach us and ask where we come from. A man asks us if he can take a picture of our license plate, since foreign vehicles rarely come through in his town.

Even in the car we hear the loud cicadas chirping in the trees. We are lucky that it is so cloudy because the temperature is very pleasant. The mountains of the foothills of the Andes can be seen through the clouds in the background.

We are located in the Putumaya Province, a region in the southern part of Colombia known for its rich biodiversity and unique culture. At least among experts. I’ve never heard of the area. The region is criss-crossed by tropical rainforest and rivers, which are both a home to an abundance of animal and plant species and an important resource for local people.

The culture of the indigenous peoples who live in Putumayo is characterized by their art, music and traditional customs and attracts many tourists every year. Despite its beauty and diversity, the region remains affected by challenges such as poverty and environmental degradation that need to be addressed.

We have lunch in a small town. There’s tilapia, the river fish that we’ve been fed since Brazil. And he’s always good.

Many roadside stalls have fruit for sale that we have never seen before. A gray fruit in the shape of a pumpkin is called a sabot and tastes very sweet but has large pips. Small fruits that look like tomatoes hanging from a bunch of grapes taste very bitter and are said to be eaten with salt and honey.

Colombia welcomes us with great new experiences, open people, new fruits and impressions.

Get behind the wheel again and head north into the region of Putumayo, where there are waterfalls and the infamous ayahuasca ritual is common.

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