Friday, October 20, 2017

Bit o this and that....

These pics are somewhat out of order....from Aug/Sept/Oct
Cherries in Calgary!  In Al's super garden.

My new classroom.  Grade 6 middle school.  Math/Science and Outdoor/Environmental Ed.  Change keeps life exciting!

The goose chasing geese!

Elisa my former student from 5 years ago in Ecuador with her parents, our good friends Maria Victoria and Robert.  They now live in Ottawa as Robert accepted a position as Associate Director Climate Change at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada)   Great to see you again!

Pablo and La Prima Betty from Bogota came for a visit too!

Las nenas

In the front of our place.

Off for a 3 hour float to downtown Calgary.

Ramon prefered to read his book!

....and Clifford and Annette came for a visit too!  In fume filled Fiat Spider.

Dad's new Jeep Grand Cherokee.  The power of the 4.7L motor netted him 3 speeding camera tickets.  So he sold it 1.5 months later.  It was the motor's fault, not his heavy foot.  Didn't need it...the Sienna is much more comfy....and gutless with a 3L motor :)

Dad's 55th b'day prezzie from his kidlets

Veggie kabobs

Maria having a go in Don's homemade Kart.


...and Alpacas in Salmon Arm

Fresh BC fruit....yum!

Gramma and Ramon

Don and Deb

One way to keep kids under control!

The following pics are taken at the Enchanted Forest near Revelstoke.

Spawning salmon

One Colombian cycling champion....

....and another more current one!

Going for a stroll with the Tia Betty in Bogota

At the plant nursery down the road; buying a new plant for the house.

On our way to the airport and back to Cowtown.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


When I was younger I felt I had a lot of things under control.  These days?  There is sooooo much we don't know.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Adventures in Colombia-August 2017

The theme for this month´s post-Pedal more, work less :)

We might be poor, but we are cool!

Found this little guy.....

....keeping the place clean.

Tree tomatoes


Land of the potatoes

..more potatoes

San Bartolome.....patron saint de Cordoba Narino, of the area where Maria grew up.  Locals are taking him out for some fresh air :)

I stopped by Maria´s old school in the country and one of her sister´s students is now a teacher there!  Socorro Bastidas is also a cousin of some sort.

The school Maria went to when she was little.

A cousin I came across, as I bike down the road-Silvio Bastidas, father of the teacher.

Maria´s family´s original house at the farm.  It´s just been left to fall apart as they tend to do in the country with old adobe houses.

My collection of smoke stack photos.  In the old days (20 plus years ago ha ha) I noticed that we´d go into a country farm house kitchen and it would be full of smoke--makes it a bit hard to visit when you have trouble breathing.  Fortunately, smoke stacks seem to be catching on.

The new gondola at Las Lajas.

By good buddy Juan Pablo, AKA el sardino, because he was 12 when I met him working in his dad´s bike shop and just a little guy.  

With his bike shop in Ipiales.  Unfortunately he was robbed twice, the 2nd time he was shot last December 24 and spent 1.5 months in hospital.  He´s a strong cyclist and has fully recovered.

Working on the bike I bought from him last year.

With his wife Marcela ( I didn´t get a photo of their young daughter Maria Paz)

His cyclocross bike

Waiting for handout....

Collection of Simon Bolivar monuments, typically found town plazas.  This one is in Pupiales. Puerres San Pablo Tangua

A monument to a female for a change!  Unfortunately, there was no sign and no one in the plaza could tell me who she is/was!!!!!   Pero parece una mujer bien berraca pues.

.....also good to see women getting into politics more and more.  One used to just see adverts for males.

Lovely little town of Iles.

I always wondered how the Virgin Mary could make so many appearances.   Well know I know....she´s got her own set of wheel(s)!!

Having broken spoke fixed in Pilcuan.

I just have to post another one of these signs......Canada apparently does not exist for Colombians.

Puka is his name.....being friendly with Carla is his game.

Mafe´s confirmation....with the bishop doing the honours.

Mother and daughter/Maria and Carla

Carlina is now 22, just graduated with an degree in Art and just got her first job, way out in Puerto Ospina on the Rio Putumayo across the river from Puerto El Carmen Ecuador, where Ramon and I biked to about 5-6 years ago.  No cars, no airport.  Full on jungle!

La mami Maruja being escorted by her son Carlos :)  :)

Carla up to her usual tricks.

Snappy dessers!

Daughter and mother/hija y madre/Carolina and Vilma.

Beto/socio sucio con Super Mono....par de viejitos


Maria, Carlos, Wilson, Hector, Vilma in order of age.

Carla, Tomas and Wilson Andres.  

Que viva Pasto carajo!

Wilfredo (father of Juan Pablo in Ipiales) making coffee the he harvested, roasted and ground from his own coffee bushes.

Wilfredo and Betty en su finca.


Lots of slides from the heavy rains 6 months ago that left Mocoa a mess and made news in Calgary.  Good luck moving this one!

The Andean sunglass bear (anteojos).  There used to be one in the Calgary zoo....I´ve never seen one in the wilds.

Jefe...this one is for you....sopa de gallina del campo....sin gallina (chicken soup without the chicken)   and potatoes of course.

Bought some of this corn seed for a our good buddy Al in Calgary.  The master gardener wants find out if this type of corn will grow in Calgary.  It might have with this record breaking hot summer!

Ollocos....related to potatoes

puñ pinapple

La Virgin de la Playa.  Her image appeared on a cliff, so they build a church around it.

I should get me one of those to ride with....a machete that is!

World´s best tree to climb.

Here they are at the top! the trunk leans to the left.

Ramon with his grandma

Ramon working in Carlos and Cris´store.  He loves it.  He sells things including phone minutes and gives change.

My good buddy Vlady!  (and former student)

Straw mattress...quite comfy

My good buddy Lucho el sastre (Luis the tailor)  getting a free ride.....chuchinga!

Vlady getting a free ride....chuchinga!

Pinzon is his last name.  A guinea pig restaurant.

Lucho´s restaurant.

Harvesting wheat with sickles.

Roast corn

Parade in Samaniego

Party time in Samaniego....for the festival of trios-bands as per the poster below.´s sugar free!!! (Aguardiente...licorice flavour, sugar cane alcohol)....and since I don´t was all for Vlady!

Walled in with vegetation.

Sopa de gallina del campo Jefe....pero fijate, es consumo de pollo mundial por un ano es 40 billiones!  The consumption of chicken world wide for one year is estimated to be 40 billion!

La llanada.  There is a gold mine here...started by the Incas...then exploited by a Canadian company in the 30´s 40´s who also make off like banditos, getting the local girls pregnant and then leaving them behind.  To this day there are fair skinned/haired people in this town!  True story.

Aji   -  hot sauce

Love those beans and plantain

church in Sotomayor de los Andes

Lucho .....looking out of the church, into the plaza...note the big bird house

Next visit here we will bike this road to Policarpa.

The road down from Sotomayor to the Rio Guitara

Looking back at the side we came down from La llanada...the photo shows about one tenth of the total decent to the river.

Lucho cooling off of the way back up, as the temperature down in the canyon is close to 40C!

The big break in the mountains to the coast where 3 major rivers come together to head towards the Pacific Ocean.  The Patia, Juanabu and Guitara

Extreme vertical!

This dog followed us for 3 kms so I bought him 3 empenadas (de pollo jefe) and gave him some water.  Then he promptly fell asleep.

Vlady´s heart attack mixed grill.  Colombian bacon, egg etc....

Love the new white saddle....keeps things cool down under, when I get back on.  :)

No idea.....huge traffic jam though

Luis Tobar, a famous Colombian cyclist who won the tour of Guatemala in the 70´s.  He beat Wilfredo ( in photos above) who came in 2nd.

hijo y padre / father and son

She beats me...which isn´t hard to do.

No one knows what these are.  They are hollow.

One well toasted cuy/guinea pig.

So 99% of trout eaten here in farmed.  But what is the first of ingredient?  Ground up fish.  Mad fish disease anyone?

Lunch at Tia Cris´

Hiking to la Cruz

.....with my former collegue in Calgary from Pasto, Nancy Lopez.   (I say former, as I´ve changed schools for next year)

Nancy and Maria on the way down, with Volcan Galeras in the backgorund.  10th most likely to erupt says National Geographic.

Baby Caral 

Carla and Mafe

Carolina and friend

Maria getting leaves for making envueltos

Carla making envueltos

Our good friend Soco at work. (Surprise!...more chickens Jefe)

Coffee and bananas

el cafe Colombiano!  Lo mejor del mundo!

Guascupal Alto

Country adobe houses


Water over the bridge? or under?

Crazy place for a road....sheer drop down, with the road about to give away.

Some poignant artwork......