Surprising. That’s the main word that comes to mind when I reflect on Colombia. Of course this may have to do with my own ignorance and the ignorance of much of the rest of the world, really. When we hear Colombia, rarely do we associate it with a desert by the sea, ancient cultures still preserving their traditions, or beautiful mountain ranges and pristine nature. All I knew of Colombia as an Australian were - drugs, Pablo Escobar and FARQ guerillas.
The funny thing is that many Colombians are surprised with their country and it’s diversity and natural beauty too. When I mentioned Tatacoa to a couple of friends, they had no idea what it was or where it was. I read about it in the guidebook, searched for some images and thought – this is the place where I’m gonna try out my drone and my rooftop tent.
I descended from the coolness of the mountains into the sweltering heat of the plains of south Colombia. What a contrast! When I stopped at a petrol station and came out of my air-conditioned car I was instantly hit by a warm breeze. Only hours ago I was wearing a jacket to keep warm on a chilly morning.
During the drive to Tatacoa I stopped to take a few photos of a river and some surrounding scenery. Any excuse to fly the Mavic. There's no way I could have made anything similar to the photo above without a drone. My view was pretty much blocked by trees and bush.
I experimented with the follow feature of the Mavic. As I started to get closer to Tatacoa the landscape became pretty flat, hence – more safe to try out this feature. Pretty amazing that the little machine followed my machine pretty flawlessly. I wish I played around with the follow feature a little more, but sun was going down and I wanted to make it to Tatacoa before sunset.
Destination reached just before sunset and in time to get an aerial shot of my camping setup. For anyone curious, the tent I'm using is ARB Simpson III. I like it. I think I prefer my tent on the Landrover, but this one is larger and much better in the rain. It actually rained during one of the nights, so I've already tested it.
It looks in this photo as if I was all alone, in a state of bliss, but, I actually stayed at camping ground. Seems that all the land with the best views has been bought and converted into camping grounds or hotels. It's still tranquil, but, a solo encounter with nature it is not.
The geographical features of Tatacoa are quite something. The artistry and beauty of nature never seizes to amaze me. Check out the VIDEO ABOVE to appreciate this beauty a little more.
There was a dog at the camping grounds, he liked to explore the sandstone formations by climbing on top of them and running around. It also never seizes to amaze me how much more agile and adept to nature animals are than humans.
I descended into what the locals have called the labyrinth. This spectacular looking part of Tatacoa is actually pretty small. You could probably explore it all in a day, if you can stand the heat.
Nothing but cactuses, shrub and incredible sandstone formations. It's hard to ever get bored of exploring nature's wonders like the Tatacoa desert.
While I drove around exploring I met a couple of young travellers – Rosali from Dominican republic and Hernan from Argentina. I invited them along for a drive. At the end of the day I joined them by their campfire for a little while.
Before I headed back to my rooftop tent, I stopped to take a photo of a part of this spectacular landscape in the dark. I had the bad luck of having the sky covered with clouds, so I used artificial light, asking one of my new friends to briefly switch on my flashlight, to illuminate the scene.
My time in Colombia is coming to an end very soon. I've definitely fallen in love with this country.
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