Best of the blogs: July 2014

Here are extracts from our three favourite travel blogs this month. If you'd like to share a blog with us, tweet @NatGeoTraveller with #NGTUKblogs.

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 21 Jul 2014, 11:00 BST, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 11:57 BST

Isn't Colombia really dangerous?

Colombia was a country I'd long heard whispers about — the drugs, the kidnappings, the danger — but when I arrived there last July, I was fascinated from the start. Spending weeks on the Caribbean coast was a sweaty, sun-cream covered mess of (fun?); and living in a stranger's Bogota apartment while I took Spanish classes each morning and explored the city on the back of said stranger's motorbike was wonderfully bizarre. 

Film Noir and the dark side of travel

I've changed as I've become a more experienced traveller. I've learned to accept the dark side of travel, and my enjoyment has increased exponentially. I've begun to view it all as a part of the adventure, even though not all adventures go smoothly or end well. Exploring somewhere for the very first time, wondering what will happen next. Taking pictures before the sun comes up because, well, it beats staring at the ceiling at 3am — you might as well embrace the jetlag.

How long to boil drinking water?

Safe water is one of the biggest concerns for travellers. The US Center for Disease Control notes: "Except for boiling, few of the water treatment methods are 100% effective in removing all pathogens." Boiling water for tea is one thing. Boiling it to remove bacteria, amobeas and other pathogens is something else. You need a rolling boil for one minute to kill bugs at less than 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) altitude. Above this altitude and you'll need to boil it for three minutes.

Published in the Jul/Aug 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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