Dogs of Colombia: A Photo Essay

For anyone who has traveled in Latin America, you are aware of the number of dogs wandering the streets. Some are house pets just out for a stroll. But most are stray- to be clear, we avoided many, many dogs for hygienic and safety reasons. These friends we made  were all friendly and safe and as clean as can be expected when living outside on a farm or beach…

She was our first love. Up in the mountains in Minca. She didn’t actually live at this hostel and eventually got kicked out. We never even got to say goodbye…


This beauty lived at the hostel in Taganga… went back into our room and got the bejeezus scared out of me seeing a face peeking out from under the bed apparently her favorite spot to nap.


Tiniest, cutest puppy ever!!



This was our first time camping out on someones farm. This pup ran up to help us cook. And knock things over. And bite our hands. And in general be as annoying as possible…


Second time camping on a a farm. They had many dogs but Chocolate here was the friendliest and snuggliest.


This big boy was at a stop we made not long after cresting a mountain peak. After sitting and warming up with a cup of deep black joe, he kept blocking my way so I couldn’t leave. Ok fine, I’ll stay a bit longer to give you the loves…


The route this day was pretty flat. And seeing a bunch of dogs on the side of the road, and having learned from past experience, I slowed way down and stayed on guard for how these dogs would react to me and my bike. They barked a bit then most left me alone…except this guy. He started running along beside me. I stopped, and he stood and waited. I gave him some crackers, which he ignored and we started off again. He stayed with me for at least 15 minutes! Stopping when I stopped, though not getting close enough for me to pet him. Eventually I got to a town and he went a different way. I thought for sure we finally had an official bike tour dog!


While visiting Bogota we used CouchSurfing, met a wonderful family who also had a dog. We quickly became bffs.


Another hostel dog. He was always tied up and every time I passed him on my way to the tent I spent a few minutes hanging out.


Our last night camping in Colombia. The pavilion did surprisingly little to stop the rain. But this guy loved playing fetch with a plastic bottle and did not mind at all to track his wet little paws all over our stuff.


Moral of the story: I love dogs.



Obrigada Portugal

Until now I’ve been talking about my first trip to Europe in 2012 and sharing some “advice” about traveling. But I just took a 10 day holiday to Portugal and I just want to share some of the highlights via photo with captions. This is a little insight to my life and a solo traveler:)


First stop, Porto: Couch Surfed with a guy from Italy. Kinda rainy, had some yummy cod-fish, nothing too crazy



Next, Lisbon: Left photo– found this stairway in the old town (which is super hilly) at night, when it was raining and I was incredibly lost. Took me an hour to find my way home and I went through a scary part of town. Right photo– Me at the same stairwell the next day…5 minute walk from the main square. doiy!


Also in Lisbon, while waiting in line to get to the top of this tower, I met a 60 year old couple from the states taking their first trip to Europe. Spent half the day with them. We had the best pastel de nata! 


On to Lagos: Small but insanely beautiful city. Big for all types of surfing and boating. This was the first European slave market in Europe. Real life just hit me in the face.

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Sagres: Met a German girl in my hostel and the next day we took a short ride to Sagres, what was once considered the Edge of The World. It’s understandable looking out at the Atlantic like that thinking a boat would just fall right off the Earth…


Portugal has some delicious fruits. Fresh squeezed orange juice is everywhere. No complaints about that. However, I wouldn’t recommend picking at random off a tree…not that we tried that or anything…

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I’ve got about 20 pictures of walls from my trip. All with different colors and patterns. Truly beautiful.


Here we go- to get back in time for my flight from Porto I took an 8 hour bus from Faro (spent 1 day there, calm and beautiful). I arrived at 4:30 am, and while it was a horrible plan to begin with I thought I’d chill in the bus station untilI cafes opened up (my flight was at 4:45 pm). Bus station was closed. Kids are everywhere still partying. Luckily I remembered there was a hostel near my CS host’s apartment. But they had no more beds. I begged them to let me stay in the lobby for a few hours. The guy finally said OK. I ‘slept’ on a bean bag chair until 7:00 am. Up and at ’em!


The rest of the day I would walk until I got tired, stop, probably have a snack, and then continue onwards. At the Crystal Palace I experienced a series of hilarious events: start with 3 ducks fighting over a female to mate with. But then the duck that won the fight clearly wasn’t man enough to finish the job, and so he left. It was pretty intense to watch.

Then a guy in a full track suit runs behind me totally rocking out punching the air as he jogged by.


Next, I walk around the corner and see this peacock strutting his stuff for the ladies! 2 more open up their feathers as I stand watching. Serious matting season time!

Last, walking back into town I catch a grandma walking with 2 kids and a bright pink shirt that says “I am very sexy” on the front. Let me tell you, she wasn’t very sexy.


My last resting stop before heading to the airport I saw my second bird lady in Portugal. The other was in Lisbon. As soon as she walks outside, before the bread even comes out, they flock to her….

I arrived back in Germany and shared a cab to the train station with some other travelers because the idiot I am didn’t realize that the shuttles weren’t running…it was Sunday. duh. I couch surfed one last time with 3 people from Hungary before making the trek home to Munich. It was beautiful and wonderful and exhausting. Everything a backpacking trip should be.

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Feeding yourself while Backpacking

There is an age old problem- what do I eat while traveling and carrying all of my belongings on my back?

Once again, this idea started out as potential for giving good advice, and then I’s me. If anything this will just help you feel good about the choices YOU make while traveling.

Keep in mind I’m basing this off my own travels through Europe. I typically switch from hostels to Couch Surfing with occasional camping thrown in. And a lot of my trips are solo. I cook my dinner in hostels of pasta with an egg or sauce, drink my local beer/wine/cider and find a cozy corner to stuff my face hoping no one realizes how sad my dinner is.

Spanish Breakfast
Spanish Breakfast

If I am traveling for at least a few weeks I try to buy a few staples I can use everywhere. And while I always carry a water bottle, I started to bring some tea and/or instant coffee. Because I’m obsessed with hot beverages and can’t live without them. It’s not always necessary, but so far it’s helped me make friends in hostels sharing what I have.

Of course, wherever I go I always try to have at least 1 truly local meal. English breakfast, crepes for lunch, sausages for dinner, whatever it might be!


Also, European cafes WILL be my demise. Why is everything always so delicious??!