Parque Arqueologico, San Agustin, Colombia

One day in San Agustín, we walked from the Maya Hostal 2.5 kilometers to the Parque Arqueologico just outside of town.  After being in the town for almost a week it was strange to actually find the restaurants listed in our Lonely Planet guidebook.  They are the over priced places selling the same rice and fried plantains that are all over town, they are just on the tourist path to the park.  After reaching the park, we entered for about $5 each for the basic package–walk around and explain it to yourself.  Famous ancient statues are layed out over a series of trails through some thick forest.  There are about 50 different statues of various heights and depictions.  Some have angry faces with crazy hats and most of them with different things in their hands.

Parque Arqueologico, San Agustin, ColombiaParque Arqueologico, San Agustin, Colombia

The statues are in Parque Arqueologico, San Agustin, Colombia are in very good shape for being between one and two thousand years old.  There is also lots of awesome plantlife along the way.

The path was actually not that easy.  We broke a hard sweat climbing up hill in the humid weather and were soon wondering why we decided to walk the long way around.  But we had to see everything of course.  Eventually there was even a dog that followed us for part of the trail, posing for Carrie’s pictures.  Once the rain started to come in we hurried home.  We were ready to hit the streets in town for some cheap emanadas and maybe a Poker (the best Colombian beer) or two.

Enjoy this post about Parque Arqueologico in San Agustin, Colombia Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and our subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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Bogota – The Big City in Colombia

Our bus came into Bogota late and there was no public transportation to our Couchsurfing hosts’ house.  This meant we had to wait in line for 30 minutes for a taxi.  No taxi driver we have had here yet has ever known where he is going.  Carrie asked him, “¿Sabe donde?” “Mas o menos,” he replied.  To us this meant, “I have no idea where we are going but I will drive around in circles for an hour, hope you don’t notice, and try to charge you for my mistakes.”  Luckily this time we got the price up front so when he eventually did get lost he couldn´t rip us off.  So after the 10 hour bus ride, 30 min waiting for a taxi, then 45 minutes driving around the city lost, we finally made it to our destination.

We woke early the next moring to check out the city.  Jumped on the Bogota TransMilenio, which is a bus system that travels on its own road.  It is very efficient and cheap at 1700 COP (less than $1) each, and an easy way to get downtown from anyplace.  Bogotá is much more ordered with less of the amazing chaos that we loved about Medellín.  The main roads are full of chain shops and car dealerships, sidewalks packed with men in suits reading the daily news.  The first thing we needed was food since we haden´t eaten dinner the night before.  In our Lonely Planet guide book (which has been very unreliable thus far…more on that later) we found a vegetarian restauraunt called Quinoa y Amaranto that we wanted to try.  We wandered through La Candelaria which is very European with its skinny streets, although all the buildings are different colors which gives it that Latin vibe.  Eventually we found the resuraunt.   You walk into a small room with a cash register and behind it a small four-burner stove that they cook everything on.  In the corner is a spiral staircase and you climb that and eat upstairs.  They had a set lunch for 12,000 COP which included soup, juice, spinich pasta with pesto, a mushroom salad, and bowl of cherry jelly sauce for dessert.  Muy delicioso!  Not very Latin, but the best meal we have had thus far.

Bogota

Bogota
La Candelaria

With our stomachs full, we walked to the bottom of the hill overlooking the city and took the cable car to the top.  At the summit was Monserrate, a beautiful cathedral overlooking the capital city.  The trip was expensive and the car was full of gringos, but it was well worth it for the view.  The whole city was there before you, with clouds casting shadows and rain in the distance.  We were happy to have a safe spot to break out the cameras and shoot some footage for the film.

 

Bogota
Overlooking Bogota from Cerro Monserrate

Enjoy this post about Bogota? Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and our subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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Only 8 more days until you don’t have to hear about this anymore!

But until then….

Our flight leaves on October 27, and now our fundraising deadline is fast approaching! We set a lofty goal of raising $5000 and we still have a long way to go! We are currently only a few hundred dollars away from the $1000 mark, and every little bit helps! The film is happening no matter how much money we raise, but the more we get, the better the quality will be! Here are a few things your donation will be used for:

TRAVEL HEALTH INSURANCE!!!! (to protect the film from being scrapped due to unforeseeable health issues)
SHOTGUN MICROPHONE (for great sound quality!)
EXTRA HARDDRIVES (for backing up footage)
EXTRA MEMORY CARD (for storing pictures and video)
LONG LIFE CAMERA BATTERIES (to keep us rolling in places where there’s no power!)

Don’t leave us without medical coverage. We can’t do this on our own. Let’s make these last 8 days count and help us get the equipment we need to create something amazing. Every dollar will be greatly appreciated and there are some great perks for helping us out. We appreciate your help so much!
The link to donate is www.indiegogo.com/laaventuraproject

Feel free to leave comments with any and all questions; we’d love to answer them!

You can also help by following @AventuraProject on Twitter, “Liking” La Aventura Project on Facebook, and posting this event to your wall for others to see!

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Traveling as a Couple

Zach and I have now been traveling for 3 weeks!  Road trips are something we’ve gotten very good at, but the idea that this is only week 3 of an entire year(!) is pretty mind-boggling to us.  The adjustment is definitely taking some time…I’m only now getting used to the idea that we’re NOT going back to Arizona in a  few days.  Living out of the car has it’s downsides, but really, this is the easy part.  Once we get to South America we will begin the real voyage, in addition to trying WWOOFing for the first time, speaking a new language, and making a documentary!  And this will be our first REAL overseas, new-culture, long-term travel experience together.  We’ve been together for so long, lived together, moved across the country together, and traveled so much in close quarters.  But South America will DEFINITELY bring a whole new set of challenges.  We’ve been working on our communication and mentally preparing ourselves to work together as well as possible when we’re there.  This road trip is also a great warm-up.  However, there’s no advice as great as the experts can give, so here are some links to some great blogs about traveling in a relationship.  Enjoy!

Traveling as a couple

Traveling Couples: Are We Insane?  The Survival Guide

How to Travel the World Together without Killing Each Other

What Sailing Across The Ocean Teaches You About Marriage

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Clarifying Our Goals

It recently came to my attention that despite all the blogging we’ve done, the main goals of our trip/documentary are still kind of unclear.  That’s a problem!  Despite the fact that our trip is largely unplanned as far as day-to-day specifics, we need to have a solid overall purpose.  So I forced myself to sit down and write out the three main elements of our project.  I hope this helps you understand the project more!  Here they are:

1. Volunteering:  WWOOFing is something that we are all very excited about.  I know it is agricultural volunteering vs. working mainly with people, BUT many of these farms are benefiting local communities in awesome ways (e.g. teaching sustainable agriculture to villagers, starting income-generating activities in their areas, and helping prevent environmental degradation (which is a HUGE problem in south america)).  WWOOFing is going to provide us an opportunity to help on organic farms, learn all about their methods so we can spread our knowledge, and get to know the local people.  As far as volunteering in orphanages and other places, we DEFINITELY plan to do that.  But from everything I’ve read, the easiest way is to just GO and find places that accept help once we’re there.  Many organizations that organize volunteers like this charge a huge overhead (which doesn’t go back to the community) and are merely cookie-cutter volunteer tourism which is very questionable as far as actual impact and sustainability.  I feel like these trips are a great way to start volunteering, but that I am past that now that I have more knowledge of global development.  We will have a more authentic experience by having our couchsurfing hosts and the locals we meet help us find smaller places we can volunteer (there are TONS of opportunities beyond those few that are big/rich enough to have an online presence in the U.S.).  So a huge part of our trip and the documentary will be about volunteering.

2.  Learning: In all my trips and volunteer experiences I have learned so much more than I have taught or contributed.  I have learned more than in my entire college career through traveling.  It is amazing.  We are going to learn a new language, new cultures, see new sights, learn how to survive in developing countries, learn new skills, learn about farming, etc. etc.  That’s why the trailer emphasizes our desire to learn more than the volunteering aspect.  I feel now that’s it’s actually naive and pretentious to assume that we will HELP SO MUCH and do SO MUCH GOOD, when in reality we will be the ones gaining so much knowledge.  The documentary will emphasize the power of travel as education and encourage others to travel.

3.  Self-discovery through travel: Do you remember your early 20s?  I don’t think it’s uncommon at our age to be slightly unsure of yourself, not sure of what path you want to take, questioning the status quo and struggling to realize WHO YOU ARE.  Is that a bunch of psychobabble or do you remember feeling like that?  Well, we think that travel is a great way to experience the world and help define who you are and what you want to do in life.  As Melissa says in the trailer “The 3 of us really want to DO something; we don’t feel satisfied with the idea of graduating college and starting a career in America right away.”  So if we don’t feel satisfied doing that and we have the opportunity to do something different, why wouldn’t we?  I count my blessings every day that I am in a position with no debt and nothing holding me here and that I am ABLE to do this.  I think God wants us to follow our dreams, rather than stick with what “most people” do just because it is normal.  We expect to learn a lot about ourselves and the documentary will tell the story of our psychological journeys of self-discovery, as well as our physical journey.

I know that these goals still sound a little vague, but it’s impossible to really plan such a long adventure down to the details!  We are so excited to see what happens as we go with these goals in mind!

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Too Legit to Quit!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our indiegogo campaign so far!!!  You guys are truly awesome.  We are up to $350 with 90 days to go!  Click here if you want to donate!

In recent news, Zach got his travel shots!  He has been “a little bit infected with several tropical diseases” for the past few days now, hahaha.  So there will be a lovely video post of that experience coming soon!

The most exciting news is that we officially registered our production company as a business!  That basically involved filing a notarized form and paying $15 at the courthouse to make Journey Lost Productions legally recognized.  We also opened up a business account with Chase so that we can keep all of the funds we raise for the film completely separate and provide copies of our bank statement to donors if they ask.  It also means we can write off all of our equipment as business expenses when we file our taxes next year.  This is all so new to me but the fact that I’m now officially a business owner makes me happy.  Journey Lost Productions is real, yo!

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