And now I had finally reached my goal of returning to South America to visit the glorious Colombia. When the five of us headed off wide-eyed and bushy tailed for South America back in 2004 we were unanimous in agreeing that the only country we wouldn´t consider visiting was Colombia. It was just too fucking dangerous.
Ever since then, anyone I´ve met who had hit Colombia just raved about the place. And not in a "its so dangerous and wacky its cool" way. They all maintained that it was just an allround quality joint. And I´m often skeptical bout people´s opinions on such places but again these were just your average travelling punters.
So Colombia was gonna be one of the focal points of my voyage. Even from the outside its charms are pretty obvious: mountains, the jungle, cosmopolitan cities like Medellin and Bogota, pretty little colonial towns, the Amazon, the Carribean and the Pacific.
Prior to arriving here I was aware that the country had done much to improve its plight. In his first term Uribe had become a very popular president among his people. He had pushed the FARC deep into the jungle and had done huge amounts to tackle the security problems experienced by ordinary Colombians. Apparently by 2004, two years after coming into office, homicides, kidnappings and terrorist attacks had decreased by as much as 50%.
This, allied to the attacks led by previous governments on the drug cartels namely that of Pablo Escobar´s has placed Colombia and its people in a far healthier place today. I recently read that Medellin, once the home of the majority of the Colombia cartels and obviously a place where you tread lightly, is the safest city in Latin America. All of this has helped Colombia to be a more attractive place to live in, visit and do business.