Tag Archives: chronic illness

‘In the Dragon’s Jaws: Many Exquisite Jewels’ [1]

The jungle had begun to claim the roofless walls and incongruous pillars that lured my eldest daughter. She likes taking photographs of derelict buildings and these ruins on the outskirts of Leticia in the Amazonas department of Colombia were irresistible. … Continue reading

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Salt Cathedral and Mines of Zipaquirá – Syncretismo, Salvation and Claustrophobia

250 million years ago, an inland sea covered the area of the high Andean plain – the Altiplano Cundiboyacense – on which the old colonial town of Zipaquirá stands. As the eastern cordillera of the Andes formed, the sea dried … Continue reading

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Lake Guatavita – Thwarted Quest for El Dorado

Our itinerary, planned mostly from my bed back in Europe, included hiring a taxi from Bogotá to Lake Guatavita. But the evening before we were due to go, I was too ill to organise the taxi, too ill even to … Continue reading

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Cerro de Monserrate – Breathless in Bogotá

Visible from most of Bogotá, the high Andean peak of the Cerro de Monserrate towers over the city. The steep rise of this mountain wall curtails expansion to the East and brings the city to an abrupt stop. Adrenalin pushed … Continue reading

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Return to Colombia

Excitement and apprehension prevented me from sleeping the night before the trip. I tried to relax as I lay in silence with the symptoms of my disease. Eventually the dawn chorus mingled with tinnitus to intensify my ever-present headache. Since … Continue reading

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‘Colombia! What were you thinking?’

‘What were you thinking?’ said Dr M. Her wide-eyed frown assaulted my confidence; her incredulity left me small and foolish. ‘Yes,’ I admitted, quietly, my glance downcast, ‘I underestimate the severity of my illness. But I’ve accepted such strict limitations … Continue reading

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Climb the Andes, Oh Snail, but Slowly

OK so Kobayashi Issa’s original eighteenth century haiku was: Climb Mount Fuji,                                      Oh snail,                                                     But slowly, slowly. Though in a blog about Colombia, the Andes seem more appropriate. After the worst of my illness, I examined what was left … Continue reading

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