When You Go to the Tatacoa Desert

July 20, 2014 Colombia
Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – When you go to Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert, no one is going to go with you. Among travelers, it’s one of those “Why are you […]

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Photo Essay: Sunset to Sunrise in the Tatacoa Desert

June 14, 2014 captured on memory card

When I think of Colombia, the first scenes that come to my mind are long drives through unbelievable shades of green that seemed to stretch on infinitely. But Colombia is a place of many landscapes, including a thirsty and barren place called the Tatacoa Desert. I spent a night in this lonely desert surrounded by […]

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Lost and Found: Three Stories of Losing Valuables in Colombia and Getting Them Back

May 21, 2014 Colombia

When you tell people you’re going to Colombia, many don’t have to say a word to let you know how they feel. If you tell someone over the phone, you may notice a long pause or a sigh. If you tell someone in person, you may witness a widening of the eyes that asks, “What […]

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Photo Essay: Mystifying Stone Statues and Other Scenes from San Agustín, Colombia

May 15, 2014 captured on memory card
San Agustin, Colombia

Not much is known about the stone statues left behind in San Agustin. Everything you read about the San Agustin Archaeological Park will eventually you that. The people who created these statues had no written language and they were long gone before the Spanish arrived. It’s hard to get a sense of who these people […]

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The Case for Being Rained In in the Middle of Nowhere with Little to No Internet Access

May 11, 2014 Colombia
La Casa de Francois in San Agustin, Colombia

You plan a trip to do this and see that, but often the best travel moments come unexpectedly between this and that. I go to San Agustin solely to visit an archaeological site, but when I arrive, the weather delays my plans and the setting, characters, and atmosphere align to replace them with subtle magic. […]

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Popayán to San Agustín: Driving into Colombia’s Soul

April 30, 2014 backpacking
Drive from Popayan to San Agustin, Colombia

When we walk into the Popayan bus station, I predict that I have another memorable overland trip ahead of me. The bus station only has half of its concrete floor. The other half is dirt. Although we see no one repairing the floor, we quickly learn that someone has recently been working on it. My […]

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Photo Essay: Exploring Oakland in the Spring with Localite Tours

April 24, 2014 California

On a balmy Sunday morning in March, I crossed the San Francisco Bay to join Localite Tours’ Picnic Tour in Oakland. It was a relaxing day by Lake Merritt and our group got to experience some lovely sights and tastes of springtime Oakland. Here’s what we did: Our first stop was The Gardens at Lake […]

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Three Vignettes from a Room with a View in Popayán

April 21, 2014 Colombia
Overlooking the main square in Popayan, Colombia

By day, Popayan’s main square looks like many colonial towns in Latin America. There is a cafe, a bank or two, and a church on the perimeter of it. Inside the square, you’ll find people watching the day go by from a park bench, city maintenance workers keeping everything tidy, and vendors everywhere. You can […]

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