Tag Archives: travel

What is a Workaway stay like in Uruguay?

The sign at the entrance of our sweet hosts. There are many types of workaways, as varied as the hosts and volunteers themselves. We were accepted to a Workaway in Colonia Valdense, Uruguay for all of November, 2022. Here are some sweet memories.
Dropped by the autobus here in Colonial Valdense, Uruguay. We are traveling as a family through South America with our teen kids and border collie. Victoria, our host, picked us up and warmly welcomed us to her family’s organic farm. We quickly saw that the daily routine is work and more work: to grow, harvest and make glorious food, care for animals and enjoy the life of the land and community.
Taking a walk on our first night, getting to know the area before going to sleep.
Picking peas.
First job for us was to pick and schuck peas and beans. It’s a job any kid on a farm can do.
So many beans and peas.
The poppies, calendula and articokes at sunset
First morning, woke to news that 19 chickens were killed overnight by a fox. The work of discarding the bodies led me to this forest where these cow skulls greeted me. The kids take the bones and build forts here.
Our host family is growing artichokes for the first time and is open to how to prepare it in creative ways. Sooo many articokes.
Articoke flower, it’s really special to see this in person at sunset.
Oregano, dried and destemmed. Ready for the blender and then storage.
Viv cooking one of the many meals in our thirty day stay at Uruti Workaway with Gaston and Victoria.
Medicinal teas guided by Victoria
Stinging nettle swelling…
Remedy for stinging nettles (ortiga)
Making green pasta with Ortiga, stinging neddle. Nettles are rich in calcium and iron and used on the farm for fertilizer, chicken supplements, pasta, medicinals, etc.
Number 2049, as picturesque as this scene was, we learned that these steer are all shared by families and friends for meat. The schedule of “harvest” is depending on lunar calendars. Gaston and Victoria rotate the 2 small herds daily to sections of grass bordered by a flexible electric fence and in exchange receive some of the meat either to consume or sell. The streers live a pretty ideal life until…that day.
Number 2049 the day after being killed, chopped and left to cool overnight, these neighbors came back to finish the cuts. The processing of this steer took two men two half days of work plus the prep time Victoria did of moving the single steer to a pen alone and away from food for 12 hours prior to slaughter. The steer was never transported by truck to slaughter or sale while full size. Pretty earth friendly when compared to commercial beef.
Niles’ lemon meringue pie to put your mind in a sweeter mood.
The galleria that makes hot afternoons bearable.
Niles making tortillas.
Niles made Victoria a birthday apple pie.
At the Rio del Plata beachfront, a huge waterfront that has both Buenos Aires and Montevideo as inland ports. Niles throwing sand balls for Gypsy.
Hanging out deciding on how to approach a swim.
Peoma the farm dog who is not able to keep a fox away from the hen house, loves a lap
Viv and her chick orphaned during a fox raid.
The huerte or working garden for squash, corn, and tomatoes. Niles, Viv and I dug, conditioned the earth and planted with Victoria’s guidance.
Mike breaking ground with me for the corn.
Harvesting moras for dulce de mora in front of the house.
Victoria with her vat of ducle de pimentos: best with cheese. Victoria makes ducle de mora, pimentos, hongos, doraznos, limon, naranja, quinotos, damascos, uva, pera etc. All products of their land, all organically grown.
We cleaned jars, wrote and taped labels for the products as she turned them out of her kitchen. It was a treat to be able to see the process from harvest to jar.
The sign used in front of the Organic Fair on Saturdays while getting ready for the fair.

Bogota Stay in Galerias

Check out this home on Airbnb! https://abnb.me/6njE6TWioub

We had a good stay in Bogota at this apartment which was situated in the Tembici bike rental system and near several parks, easy walking, a public square with exercise equipment and Simon Bolivar Parque within biking distance.

We chose this listing for price, 3 bedrooms, allowed a dog, within the Tembici system and parks close. When we were shopping we also wanted to be within 30 minutes of El Dorado Airport.

Tembici: public bikes in Bogota

A travelers guide to the Bogota Tembici system.
Tembici bikes to ride Bogota! Biking to Simon Bolivar Parque (bigger than Central Park, New York…)

The public transportation system in Bogota, Columbia has grown to include a large bike lane network and a community rental bike system. Check out a bike using the app “Tembici” and rent an hour at a time up to 4 times a day: daily, monthly or yearly. From start to finish of registration and checking out a bike took ~10 minutes.

Compared to the Medellin bike system “Encicla,” which we were never able to figure out in part because engagement depends on a confirmation email, Tembici was super-easy. Several Bogota people stopped us and asked us how it worked, it’s that new.

Example station
  1. Download Tembici: https://tembici.com.co/en/
  2. Follow the registration instructions. Some will translate to English, some not.
  3. At this point, you will need a debit or credit card.
  4. We selected to pay the 9,900 COP to allow for multiple trips in a day, up 4 times a day an hour at a time. This is approximately $2 U.S. in October, 2022. We went overtime on one ride and were charged $4,400 COP (~$1 USD).
  5. Find a nearby station on the app’s map that has bikes and walk to it. See photos below.
  6. Unlock a bike by using your phone to scan the QR code on the handlebar
  7. Lift the bike out of the magnet lock near the top of the fork.
  8. If it doesn’t unlock, try again. Each bike took a couple tries. Some bikes are not available for some reason even though they are docked in front of you.
  9. Ride your bike around and pay attention to the running time on your app, find a station along your route to return your bike or dock and release your bike again to extend your time.
  10. Check your bike back in when done and review your ride. There is a red wrench on the handlebar, if the bike is in poor repair, press to indicate that the bike needs service.
  11. Hack: there is a handle on the back of the seat that helps to lift the bike’s front magnet into the docking magnet lock.
  12. Helmets are not provided in this system, so either bring your own or do without.
Find the station with bikes close to you. Note that the stations are not throughout Bogota. The map indicates the barrios currently served by the system. I wasn’t sure if it will be expanding in the future. I bet the article attached at the bottom will illuminate.
Docked bike, ready for you!
Open app, click on the station where you are, scan QR code on the bike you want. Check brakes, seat and tires before you select your bike.
Watch for the sound and green light on right under the “✔️” showing the bike is unlocked after scanning.
This live map on the Tembici app shows open slots where you can dock your bike after your ride.

See even more detail of the Tembici system including adaptive bikes for rent in this El Espectador review of the system in Spanish: https://blogs.elespectador.com/actualidad/bike-the-way/lo-sabemos-nuevo-sistema-bicicletas-compartidas-bogota

Thanks for reading our post. We are traveling through South America in 2022-2023 with our family and dog. We are posting information on systems and places we discover to document not only for ourselves but other travellers as well. Please comment with helpful hints or updates you learn about Tembici. Ciao!