Category Archives: 2010.04.25 Colombia

The 64 Hour Day (To Ecuador, Pt.3)

April 28, 2010–Cordillera Occidental (West Andes/西アンデス)

We left Bogota as night fell, and woke up in mountains like those we had seen the night before: mountains tamed by man.  The farther we got, however, the mightier they got…

夕方無事イピアレス行きのバスに乗って安心したせいか、しばしお昼ねタイムZzzz。目が覚めて窓を見るとなだらかな山々が。山はなだらかだけど道はクネクネしてて少し車酔いした。

the mightier they got, the clearer it became they were beyond control.  Road crews were on standby every couple of miles to take care of landslides.  We waited for about 15 minutes for them to clear the road.

と、思えば次は険しい西アンデス山脈に突入し、登るわ、降りるわ、がけ崩れはするわで実にスリリングで楽しい道中を過ごした。下写真はちょうどがけ崩れに遭遇して15分ぐらい待たされた。

Rocks aren’t the only thing that come tumbling down the mountains.  When I asked our driver how often there were accidents, his response was “always”.  Crosses marking deadly accidents were the only signs of life for much of the journey other than trucks removing landslides or retrieving cars gone overboard.  A sobering sight, indeed.

大勢の人だかりの視線が全員下を向いていたので、何かと思えばバスが落ちてた。。。バスの運転手に「どれぐらいの頻度で事故が起きてるの?」と聞いたら「Always」との答え。まじですか。。。

As we got closer to Pasto, 3 hours from the border, the mountains receded and civilization came back into the picture.

国境まであと3時間というところでパストという町に着いた。長く続いた険しい山脈から少しずつなだらかな山へと風景を変えて私たちをまた楽しませる。

We stopped for lunch, but this time, all the drivers left were some fries.  But, hey, we’ll take what we can get.

ランチのためにパーキングエリアでバスは一旦休憩。またまた運転手らの横で彼らのランチを羨ましそうに眺め、彼らが食べ終わるのをジッと待ってた。彼らが席をたった瞬間、「ウォォォ~」二人で握れる分だけの食べ物を持ってその場を立ち去った。ははは。

After hoping into a minivan from the station, we made it to the border before dark (thank God).  After two more buses and a taxi we were at the door of Hostel Sucre, Quito, Ecuador.  The time, 12:10am, 64 hours after we started.

バスターミナルからはミニバンに乗りこんで日没前には無事に国境越えを終えることができた。それからまた2つのバスとタクシーを乗り継いで今夜の宿エクアドルのキト、ホステル「スクレ」に深夜12時過ぎに到着!コロンビアのカルタヘナからこの3日間の移動時間合計64時間。暫くはここキトでゆっくりしまーす♪

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The 64 hour day (Bogota, Pt.2)

April 27, 2010–Bogota, Colombia

We arrived in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, at 11am the next morning.  After checking on a bus connecting us to the border with Ecuador, we set out to explore the town in the 5 hours before boarding.

カルタヘナから首都ボゴタには午前11時に着いた。そのままバスターミナル内のチケット売り場に向かいエクアドルとの国境イピアレスまでの当日チケットを勢いで購入。ボゴタでの観光時間は5時間だけとなった。

Bogota was alive with the bustle of fashionably dressed business people and students in the midst of their Wednesday, but they were never too busy to stop and talk to us.  Unlike most colonial city centers, which are nearly 100% tourist driven, the historic center of Bogota was flourishing with local businesses and people, lending a sophisticated aire to the city.

We stoped into a small shop serving mostly local office workers to enjoy a warm lunch of roasted chicken and beef with beans, rice and potatoes.  No, we didn’t eat anyone’s leftovers.

ボゴタはさすが首都だけあってか、メイン広場近くですれ違う人は皆おしゃれで、またバシッとスーツで決めたビジネスマン、そして学生達で溢れていた。皆忙しいながらにもつたないスペイン語で道を尋ねる私達に対して非常に親身になって道以外にも色々教えてくれた。また観光客向けのお店が少なかったのも印象的で、その日のランチはビジネスマンご用達な感じの老舗レストランで食べた。大体ランチセットは、どこも同じような感じで、スープにチキンやサラダ、煮豆が付いたワンプレートにジュースといった具合。とてもおいしく頂きました!!

Unfortunately, we got rained on.  Then a car drove by, soaking us with the freshly fallen rain, as if to make sure we were thoroughly enjoying the weather.

突然の雨に見舞われながらも素敵なボゴタ観光を楽しんでいたら、スピードを出して車が私達の横を通過。アッ!と思った時は既に遅く、思いっきり水がかかってしまいました。めちゃ冷たかったけど、まあこれもいい思い出と言うことで。

Before we knew it, we were back on another overnight bus headed to Ipiales, a healthy 22 hours away.

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The 64 hour day (To Bogota, Pt.1)

April 26, 2010–Cartagena to Bogota

After getting substantially behind schedule in Central America, we decided it was time to make up for lost time.  A 30 minute bus ride from the historic center, the bus station had several companies vying for our money, so we haggled and haggled some more, ending up getting a 35% discount.

中米での滞在期間が計画していたスケジュールより半月ぐらいずれてしまったので、ここで失った時間を少しでも取り戻すためにコロンビアでの時間を敢無くカットすることにした。カルタヘナのバスターミナルへ行くと色んなバス会社が客引きしていたので、会社同士で競い合わせて、正規価格より35%の値引きにOKを出したcopetranという会社に決めた。

Fifteen minutes later, we were on a $38 US, 23 hour-long, overnight bus passing up north through Barranquillo and down through the Cordillero Occiente (East Andes) into the capital.

15分後、長距離夜行バスに乗り込み、バランキーヨ → コルディイェーロ・オシエンテ(東アンデス)を通過しコロンビア首都ボゴタへと向かう。

When the bus stopped to eat at 11pm, we sat with the drivers who were eating a decent-sized steak diner.  Kaori and I had been eating bread, fruit and water for the last 12 hours in an attempt to stay within budget, so when they left behind some of their meal, we went for it.  Steak, deep-fried platano chips, strawberry juice…the works.  They gave us a strange look at first, but they got over it.  The girl working at the road stop gave us an extra piece of meat, as if she knew our pain.

夜の11時にパーキングエリアで休憩タイム。私たちはステーキを食べている運転手らの隣に席をキープし、スープだけ注文した。彼らのお皿にはステーキにフライドバナナチップ、スープ、ストロベリージュース等私たちの予算では絶対に食べることができないものばかり。よだれ出そう。。。ジーっと我慢。あっステーキ残した!彼らが席を立ち去る時に食べていいか?と了承を得てから食らいつくまでの時間めちゃ早かった。しばらくすると店のお姉さんが厨房から私たちに新しいステーキを持ってきてくれた!!久しぶりのステーキに二人は満足でした♪ 運転手微妙な表情で私たちの事見てたけどね(恥)   下写真が食べ残しのステーキをくれたやさしい運転手さん。

The next morning, when we awoke, we were high in the Andes looking down on the clouds as we weaved in and out of the softly formed, lush green mountains and valleys stretching as far as we could see.

翌朝起きて雲を通してアンデス山脈を眺める。一体今どれぐらい高い所を走ってるんだろう。母なる広大な大地を前に只ただ圧倒され続けた。

After we stopped for a quick breakfast, we ended up behind this guy, hitching a ride on a big rig.  I did this kind of thing when I was a kid, but not on precipitous mountain highways and not at 40 miles per hour.  At least he’s wearing a hat, right?

タイミング良くトラックを掴んでいる自転車おじさんがいた。

Though sparsely populated, throughout the entire trip, there were ALWAYS signs of life: houses and stores clinging to sheer cliffs, smoke rising from the valleys below, and people walking along the highway.  As we got closer to the capital, the number of houses and people increased, eventually shifting from country to suburb to metropolis.

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Cartegena!!

April 25, 2010

The plane that took us from Panama City to Cartagena was so small there wasn’t even a toilet onboard, but thanks to wonderful weather, the flight was smooth and we got a good look at the San Blas Islands below.

Of course, before coming, we talked to a lot of people and did our research, and we could reasonably expect Colombia to be safe.  Still, I was feeling a bit tense because of preconceived notions of Columbia as country in constant turmoil, virtually ruled by narcotics traffickers.

Cartagena was beautiful and its people kind.  We spent 15min talking to the gentleman who sells shots of delicious coffee and cigarettes by the piece.  One of his customers became very engaged in the conversation, giving us much advice about how to enjoy our time in Columbia.  He was also very interested, as are most Colombians we meet, about perceptions of Colombia in the United States.

As those of you who have been following our blog know, virtually every city in Central America boasts of a “colonial” historic downtown, however Cartagena was something special.  The city center, surrounded by 4km of fortress wall, was filled with beautiful three and four-story buildings that miraculously survived years and years of war in the country.

Across the bay from the colonial center stands the new city center, a modern metropolis.

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