A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about nature

Blending with Nature 2

Ugh! What is that?

Living in a city of some 8 million people, although I suspect there is much more just go to the top of Monserrate the peak of the mountain range that is Bogota to gauge some kind of idea of how big this city actually is


and how beautiful it looks from up there…


but on the other side of the peak nothing but trees it’s surreal.


With this many people this many buses this many taxis this many motorbikes it was no wonder that people here wear the same type of face masks people wear in Asian Countries, I have to admit that was somewhat of a surprise for me and I knew it was only a matter of time before I got some kind of chest problems and I did.

Weirdly enough, it came about a day or two after I had been up to Monserrate in the most ridiculously fast cable car journey I’ve ever experienced & I am NO FAN of cable cars at the best of times, I didn’t go skiing as a child, I only started using them as an adult & I just don’t like them another weird thing I’ve just realised it’s only going up that I totally freak out, my whole body starts sweating not shaking though and I have to breath through waves of nausea before we reach the top, the strange thing about this particular cable car was there were no joints between top and bottom of the mountain, the wiring started at the bottom & went straight to the top… Colombian engineering genius maybe?


Now, depending on how far the top actually is, I have been know to walk down the side of mountains rather than take the cable car down; one time I walked down the swiss alps, pre planned this beforehand because I wanted to take my camera to get some shots, I ended up taking some amazing shots for a college project and coming across this Japanese couple on a sleigh playing the flute - it was very random & I remember wondering for a minute if the vibration from the music could cause an avalanche? anyone? Also that weekend I went further down the mountain into the warm valleys just outside of Bogota it was then that I felt the familiar burning in my chest indicating that I probably needed to stock up on some wet wipes. Was it the extreme changes in altitude, so quickly that finally lifted the 2 months worth of Bogota nastiness off my chest? and it was nasty. I don’t know, but even though I had been eating extremely well is wasn’t enough to stop the build up!

It took a little bit of effort but I finally found the ingredients for a tea I made last year when a similar chest issue effected a trip to London.

Fresh (ish) Aloe (not super important only if you can get it)
Brown Sugar or Honey if you super healthy
Squeeze a lime

Put all ingredients into a teapot if you have one handy or a pan on a stove works fine as well, wait for the water to boil once it’s boiled, take off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes then drink until you cough is gone, It's refreshing, it’s natural it’s clean I swear by it, it works!

Posted by doveseicc 21:47 Archived in Colombia Tagged nature tea natural herbal remedy herbs cough Comments (0)

Battling with Biters 5


SO like a fool I came back to the Jungle of the Sierra Nevadas - am I glutton for punishment? or do I just enjoy being tormented!??

Slavering myself in insect repellent while waiting for a taxi in the middle of the market in a sweltering hot Santa Marta, I thought I was ready or at the very least prepared for what might happen! As it turns out a nightmare of a journey up to Minca occurred, one which saw me have a little breakdown in the taxi - this was after over an hour waiting - (again just in case you forgot, it was sweltering heat in Santa Marta) - for the car to even move we were then informed that we were going on a detour to buy a table for the old American guy who's half pissed drunk & won't stop talking - big sniff!! - So we go buy the table if stuffed into the back along with the rest of us, we finally get moving out of town only to stop at the petrol garage 10 minutes later. Here in Colombia everybody has to get out of the car if it is being filled with petrol SO out we all get again into the sweltering heat & waited for the tank to be filled, then back into the car - this is when I had my mini meltdown, we were running late the sun was setting, solely because I didn’t want to be riding passenger on a motor taxi through the jungle in the dark which was now becoming a very real possibility I went on like a bitch it had nothing to do with Jorge the American jarr or the fact that the woman in front of me was breast feeding her baby and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I mean nothing but what the fuck??? her boobs were so bruised so so so bruised, my heart went out to her but I was hot, hungry & tired and nowhere near where I needed to be and I wanted out of this fucking collectivo!!!

Back on the ridge for no more than 15 minutes and I had been done TWICE I can't tell you how much I haven't missed that feeling not one tiny bit as I bolted straight for the cream I wondered if there would ever come a time when the cream stopped working and I would just have to live with burning limbs!! seriously though, what would I do? carry around bags of limes!???

To live in the Jungle is to accept that Mother Nature RULES no questions no doubt she will always have the upper hand and it’s up to us to respect that if we choose to live within her domain. I want to work with her which is why I have been experimenting for the last while with DEET/chemical free insect repellents.

The first post from battling with biters was about DEET free products (scroll way down) & since then I have run out of my supply I desperately needed something else!

I read somewhere once about cloves and alcohol (vodka if your flush, bog standard antiseptic alcohol from the pharmacy if you’re like me) combined was a good natural repellent so with every intention of following the instructions of leave cloves soaking in alcohol for 4 days I put the cloves into the alcohol and went to a festival. 6 weeks later I’m still carrying the alcohol infused with cloves around in my bag not really sure what I’m going to do with it, I had also bought a pretty big bottle of citronella oil which, I was also carrying around in my bag!

I found myself moaning one day about flaming limbs - blah blah blah bore off ! I’m getting sick of hearing myself complain about bug bites so whilst talking to a fellow Londoner who lives here in the Jungle about natural alternatives to deet we realised that between us we may have found a perfect formula to repel death.

As off today (& we made this yesterday) 4 people have used our concoction, we have a name we have a rough sketch of our logo and we also have testimonies that our potion works it's only day one in a buggyish location but it’s exciting, tomorrow we make a larger batch and take it to a wider audience who're dealing with a particularly bad infestation of sand flies , if it works there it could quite frankly work anywhere. Our market research begins...........

Posted by doveseicc 12:00 Archived in Colombia Tagged nature natural coconut health oil bites mosquitos herbal deet_free sandflies mosquitos_repellent_deet_free cloves Comments (0)

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