A day late, our monthly collection of holiday snaps for which we couldn’t find a place elsewhere on this site. Previous months in this ‘Snaps’ series can be found by clicking here; and there are hundreds more pictures on our Flickr page.

 


 

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Medellín’s Feria de las Flores (Festival of the Flowers) is one of Colombia’s biggest events, ten days of gentle celebrations leading up to a gigantic, nationally televised Sunday-afternoon parade. The parade turned out to be rather more spectacular than the feria‘s permanent focal point, a series of vast animals made from the country’s most garish flowers.
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
1 August 2014

 


 

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The search for the world’s least appetising cocktail ended at Kathmandu in Bogotá. No, we didn’t try it.
Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
2 August 2014

 


 

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A short drive north of Bogotá, the Catedral de Sal started life nearly a century ago as a humble, homemade chapel, built underground in a salt mine by miners who wanted a place to pray. The chapel gradually expanded before, in the 1990s, the current ‘cathedral’ was built. Today, the site is geared more towards tourism than worship, and miners are incidental to its existence; salt mining now takes place in another part of the complex, and mechanisation has largely replaced the need for manual labour. Even so, it’s an extraordinary place.
Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
5 August 2014

 


 

gavin2-1024We first met smiling Irishman Gavin Doherty in Quito in mid June, and didn’t expect to run into him again; a fellow northbound rider, he was moving much faster than us, and on a more direct route. However, after a series of minor disasters, including but not limited to being robbed at gunpoint by Peruvian bandits (they took almost everything except his bike), being pickpocketed in Medellín and putting his back out in Santa Marta, he turned tail and headed south to Bogotá, where we caught up for a few drinks. Rather than continue riding north, he’s instead retreating to Buenos Aires, where he’s planning to spend a few months learning how to make ice cream.
Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
6 August 2014

 


 

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The most passionate football fans in football-crazy Colombia follow Atlético Nacional, one of two teams in Medellín. The fans refer to themselves as ‘Los del Sur‘, a name chosen in honour of the south stand where they gather for every home game; the stand was packed for the match we saw, a 5-0 demolition of Bogotá’s Millonarios, while the rest of the ground was perhaps one-third full. Starting and ending with the referee’s whistle, the fans make an unrelenting noise throughout each half, a kind of Stars on 45 Minutes medley of songs and chants led by a band of more than 30 musicians directly behind the goal. (Will wrote about Nacional’s rivalry with Independiente Medellín here.)
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
10 August 2014

 


 

altopalmas-1024One of the most famous routes among the legions of amateur road cyclists in Medellín is the Alto de las Palmas, an agreeable little training-ride climb of around 1,000m over 16km from close to the centre of the city. It’s so popular that the local council has put a series of kilometre-countdown signs along the roadside, with friendly advice attached to each signpost (‘Stay hydrated’, advises this one).
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
11 August 2014

 


 

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A familiar experience on the roads of Colombia: while we labour up a steady climb, a young chap on a road bike with no luggage blazes past us with a whistle and an encouraging word. (This kid, maybe 14 years old, was barrelling along on a bike at least two sizes too big for him.) Colombia has as large a cycling culture as any country we’ve ever visited. It is also the happiest place we’ve ever been. It is our contention that these two facts are related.
Yarumal, Antioquia, Colombia
14 August 2014

 


 

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Another round-number landmark.
the road to Montería, Córdoba, Colombia
16 August 2014

 


 

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In Panama City, this is what passes for authentic French quizine.
Panamá, Panamá, Panama
27 August 2014

 


 

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We’ve encountered all manner of things at the roadside over the last year or so. However, it wasn’t until our journey west from Panama City that we ran across – literally – our first collection of spent Luger bullets.
just outside Panamá, Panamá, Panama
29 August 2014

 


 

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On our way around Latin America, we’ve been casually collecting Spanish words whose origins seem to be little more than lazy phonetic transcriptions from the English. ‘Burguer’. ‘Beicon’. And so on. As of this month, we have a new favourite.
La Chorrera, Panamá, Panama
29 August 2014

 


 

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You wouldn’t know it from its aspect on the Panamerican Highway, but sleepy Natá de los Caballeros is one of the oldest villages in Latin America. Little remains of its 16th-century founding bar its beautiful church, built in 1522 and restored a few years ago. The painting above, by an Ecuadorian artist named José Samaniego, was hidden for years, as its representation of the Holy Trinity as a trio of Christs was deemed subversive by church elders.
Natá de los Caballeros, Coclé, Panama
30 August 2014

 


 

from Lajas Adentro, Chiriquí, Panama