Valle del Cauca, Colombia
The clima in the colombian mountains close to Cali is perfect for those, who want to rest from the heat of Cali. It also happens to be a region, where many of the exotic fruits come from. As a nine year old I could not even imagine to pick my own oranges, banana or pineapple. Not to mention the enormous number of fruits I did not even know back then.
The coffee plant is a fruit too. As coffee is made from the roasted beans of the red coffee cherry. Our Colombian neighbor Don Alirio invited me to visit his coffee plantation. It was situated in the steep hills in the mountains.
Hidden in the pacific jungle close to Buenaventura, San Cipriano is one of the magical places, where one stumbles upon a motorcycle transport system built to work on the train tracks. The only problem is, it is one rail only. So every now and then the drivers have to dismount their vehicle. The rule is obviously that heavy cargo has priority.
San Andres, Colombia
This island has its own vibe, driven by the many influences of the carribbean history. Dutch settlers arrived, later the English and of course pirates sailed out to the sea from here. The colony gained importance, slaves were brought from Jamaica. The Spanish invaded the islands but were driven out soon. The islands very own language is closer to Patois, than Spanish. In the 18th the governor requested to be under the rule of New Granada, which later declared its independence from Spain and re-established as Colombia, Panama, Peru and Ecuador. The islands of San Andres remained politically tied to Colombia since then.