Welcome to this month’s edition of Amateur Photographers. As ever, past months in this ‘Snaps’ series can be reached by clicking here; and you can see plenty more on our Flickr page.

 


 

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Five minutes after Colombia’s exit from the World Cup, the bottom had completely fallen out of the local vuvuzela market.
Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia
4 July 2014

 


 

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Few gringo tourists visit Mocoa in southern Colombia, and holidaymaking Colombians tend to be the only ones making the steamy hike through the jungle to the nearby Fin del Mundo waterfall. When we arrived at one of the various natural pools, we were quite the objects of curiosity, and one 15-strong family party took us under their collective wing. In another life…
Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia
6 July 2014

 


 

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The improvements in safety in the region around San Agustín, a former guerrilla heartland, have led to greater numbers of national and international tourists visiting the UNESCO-approved archaeological park near the town. Dotted around a vast site, these curious things are believed to have served as funerary monuments, and date back as much as 2,000 years (and possibly earlier).
San Agustín, Huila, Colombia
9 July 2014

 


 

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The usual reaction we receive from groups of unaccompanied young kids begins with a stare, continues with a stage whisper and ends with a giggle. This trio, though, came over to Will by the roadside north of Isnos, shortly after starting the climb detailed here, and spent half an hour asking dozens of questions – what’s the currency of Great Britain, how do you fix a puncture, can you get to France from London, (inevitably) do you have any sweets, and so on. From left to right: Smarty, Shy, Cheeky.
near San José de Isnos, Huila, Colombia
10 July 2014

 


 

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Popayán, aka ‘The White City’, is beautiful during the day, but it’s at its most atmospheric when the streets lie deserted on a Sunday night.
Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
13 July 2014

 


 

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This handsome thing is a chiva bus, a hand-painted, beautifully maintained icon of rural Colombia. Out in the sticks, they’re used as day-to-day transport, the livery giving each its own identity. A few have made it to big cities such as Bogotá and Medellín, where they’re employed as for-hire party buses by herds of belligerent youngsters.
Piendamó, Cauca, Colombia
14 July 2014

 


 

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Signwriter, you had one job…
Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
15 July 2014

 


 

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Itinerant typists are a common sight in Latin American towns. Usually gathered together in a square or a single city block, friendly with each other but working independently, they type letters or documents for those without either the technology or the education to do so themselves. This chap was one of maybe a dozen such freelancers setting out their stall in, appropriately, Cali’s Parque de los Poetas.
Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
15 July 2014

 


 

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Although we had high hopes for it and spent four nights there, we didn’t quite get to grips with Cali. It seemed to us a rather charmless city without a centre, perhaps a much better place to live than to visit. Despite the fact that the music originated elsewhere, it claims to be the world capital of salsa; certainly, you won’t hear much else blaring from the open windows of houses, cars and bars. We stuck around for Thursday night at Zaperoco, when the entertainment comes not from a DJ but a band; in this case, a football team-sized ensemble who fair took the roof off the place. Note the fan, which didn’t do a thing to stop sweat forming on the walls.
Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
17 July 2014

 


 

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We knew nothing about Buga when we arrived for the night. However, it turned out to be a fantastic little town, a thriving place with a beautifully preserved centre and plenty of diversions. More than 90 per cent of the outsiders who visit are Catholic pilgrims here to pay homage to the Black Christ icon, the significance of which sadly eluded us.
Guadalajara de Buga, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
18 July 2014

 


 

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For us, one of the many wonderful things about Colombia has been the reappearance of humble bars, mysteriously absent from all but the biggest cities in Ecuador and Peru. Many of them – such as Bar Danubio in Salento, pictured here – serve double-duty as billiard halls, populated by men playing the fearsomely difficult game of three-cushion billiards. Don’t touch the cues!
Salento, Quindío, Colombia
21 July 2014

 


 

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Will introduced Hernando Gutiérrez, known to all as ‘Bisoño’, in his post about the Alto de Letras climb, but we thought he deserved another mention. A former national BMX and downhill champion, Bisoño now runs the most extraordinary bicycle workshop we’ve ever seen. These pictures don’t do justice to the organised chaos that lies within: cycling memorabilia hanging off every wall, music blaring, local riders dropping in and out, dozens of spares, literally thousands of tools. Bisoño’s the first to admit he has a bit of a tool problem, but in the unlikely event that he doesn’t have the tool he needs, he makes his own there and then, using a variety of other tools (including, incredibly, a full-size lathe).

As well as being a wizard mechanic and the father of Marcelo Gutiérrez, one of the world’s best downhill riders (click here for a nice little video that features the pair of them), he’s also a lovely man. With his brother Jaime, who generously drove Will to the start of the Alto de Letras route, he invited us out for dinner, then paid the bill before we’d had a chance to ask for it ourselves. We feel lucky to have met them both.
Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
25 July 2014

 


 

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Something for everyone at the World of Salads & Ice Creams.
Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
26 July 2014

 


 

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‘If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever Basildon.’
Versalles, Antioquia, Colombia
31 July 2014

 


 

from Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia