A hidden guide to… Colombia’s Pacific Coast

A HIDDEN GUIDE TO… Some of the Advanced students have written hidden guides to their countries of origin. Here we have the third one. Carmen is from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, a tropical country in the heart of South America.   A Hidden guide to Colombia’s Pacific Coast Colombia is a beautiful country situated in the north of South America. The country is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, and the West by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia’s Pacific coast is one of the country’s lesser known regions. Much of it can only be reached by plane, but the rewards are spectacular. From stunning shores and wild jungles, through to grand humpback whales and amazing waterfalls, here’s the best guide. Whale watching The Pacific coast of Colombia gives one of the country’s most glorious natural spectacles: spotting humpback whales. These mighty animals arrive in the Pacific region every year in June and July, and stay until October. At the end of the mont they give birth and raise their creatures. The best spots for whale watching are Nuquí, El Valle, Bahia Malaga and Bahia Solano, and there are plenty of trips running whale watching tours during the season. Utría National Park Most whale watching trips from El Valle include a visit to Utria National Park as part of the tour. Few places contain such beauty and mystery as the Utría Inlet located on the Colombian north Pacific coast, in Chocó department. A vast park made up of jungle, mangroves, and gorgeous beaches, Utria is up there as one of the country’s most stunning parks.The Inlet is a changing landscape. It grows or decreases according to the tide. Most visitors choose to take a stroll along a long passage through the mangroves, hike through the jungle to a nearby … Read more

A hidden guide to… Oman

A HIDDEN GUIDE TO… Some of the Advanced students have written hidden guides to their countries of origin. Here we have the second one. Rahil is from Oman, a country in the south of the Arabian peninsula. She tells us what it’s like to live in the desert.   A HIDDEN GUIDE TO… OMAN     Hello 40C! Yes, it reaches 40C in June. As the summer can be burning in Oman. You still have got a lot to do in such a fiery desert country. Booking for a week in a luxury resort near the beach or in the middle of the sand sounds relaxing, eating middle eastern food served in modern ways, and emptying your wallet in big indoor malls buying latest designer summer clothes. That’s how you would like to spend your holiday in Oman, but what about the desert’s secret treasures? Majlis Al Jinn, which literally means (demons board). It’s the second-largest known cave chamber in the world. Located in the north-eastern of the country, but if you are not good in Fast-robing, then you better only watch and enjoy the camel rides around the area. Al Hoota cave is an easier cave to enter and spend some time wandering around the eye-catching Stalactite. Desert adventures are everywhere, you can enjoy camping at almost every part away from the city for a stargazing night, or up your game and go climbing to Jabel Shams (Sun mountain), the highest peak in Oman, but don’t forget to take some heavy clothes with you. If you are a Banshee person, then Sharqiya sands will be definitely the place for you. There is an oasis in the desert. Khareef season in southern Oman, which means (autumn), but it actually happens in summer, makes a lot of sense, I know! From … Read more

A hidden guide to… Santiago de Chile

A HIDDEN GUIDE TO… Some of the Advanced students have written hidden guides to their countries of origin. Here we have the first one. Maria Jose is from Chile and if you’re thinking about visiting this South American country, she has a couple of tips that can help you enjoy Santiago, its capital.   A HIDDEN GUIDE TO SANTIAGO DE CHILE In the last years, travellers look for alternative places and experiences. If you travel to Santiago of Chile, I could recommended the typical places like sky centers, wineyards, or go up to the observatory in the Costanera Center, the tallest of South America, but I rather show you my favourites spots. My first place is the Metropolitan Park, it was ubicated in the center of the city, where you can find innumerous pay activities, like zoo, cable car, o swimming pool, but my recommendation is go up the San Cristobal Hill walking, and you can enjoy the panoramical views of the city, meditate in the Japanese Garden or make a picnic in the middle of native trees. If you are felling peckish, you have to visit the BioBio Market, here you can enjoy the tastiest, cheapest and typical food. My infallible is “Maestranza”. When you are finished your meal, try to lose you into the stores and looking for hidden treasures like old records, vintage clothes, o antique furnitures with good prices. And finally, if you want hanging out, Lastarria Street is flooded with stand of books, paints, bars, restaurant and coffees, if you are looking for some more animated, a few streets far away you have Bellavista neighborhood, there you can discover the most diversity of bares, clubs, or restaurants. In some clubs you can hear live music. This is the meeting point of the Santiago night life. … Read more

An important memory (IV) – Robinson

Last week, our Advanced class wrote about one of their most important memories. Here’s part 4: Robinson looks back at meeting his wife!   During our lives we are supposed to make important decisions. Some of them don’t make any difference in the life ahead. But some…well, change us forever. When we are young we think about who will spend our lives with. It’s one of those important decisions to make. No doubt. Sometimes is one-track mind. This kind of matter involves many things we should consider. Who is the person? What are the qualities I seek? Etc. But, all of this are easy to answer, because the real problem to resolv is: do you have courage to talk to her? As matter of fact, if you are not able to communicate her your feelings you are not be able to succeed, no matter the way you look at it. This is might be a bigger problem if we consider a person who is extremely shy, and, unfortunately, I was, so you can easily imagine what a enormous overcoming I should face in this matter. But, the heart speak louder. I saw the girl. She had brown, long, curly hair and blue eyes like two diamonds. I realized she was the one. Wow, but how could I talk to her? What would I say? Even worse, what were my real chances? These doubts came to my mind and made me stucked. I couldn’t see anyway to achieve this goal. Then something happened. A friend of mine told me the girl was interested in meeting me. It blew my mind. It would be my chance, maybe the only one. The next weekend, we went to the theatre with some common friends. I took my chance and sat down beside her and … Read more

An important memory (III) – Koki

Last week, our Advanced class wrote about one of their most important memories. Here’s part 3: Koki remembers a time when he got lost in a new part of the city.   In usual, I tend to forget bad memories, but I never forget this horrible but meaningful day. The day is when I moved to new city and started new life alone. This was my first time to live alone and I was 18 years old. That day had heavy rain. My grandmother took me to the station by car in the evening and I took a train. However the train stopped on the way to the city because of the bad weather. So I had to change line but I was a stranger and looked it up with my iPhone. I struggled to arrive the city. Then I noticed. I don’t know how to go to home from the station because this was my first time to go there by myself. When I decided new flat, I went to there with my parents and also by car not took train. Moreover I forgot the address. I tried to remember that but I couldn’t. I just remembered the name of restaurant which is located near my flat. So I tried to look it up with my best friend iPhone. Then the worst thing happened. That was out of charge. My best friend turned to be just a stuff. It was a matter of time to get lost. The sun had already set and got dark. I tried to walk around but I couldn’t found the way. Maybe you think I should have asked someone but I was a shy and hesitated to. I felt like being in foreign country in spite of being in Japan. Few people walked in … Read more

An important memory (II) – Joy

Last week, our Advanced class wrote about one of their most important memories. Here’s part 2: Joy warns us about pickpockets! — An important memory of my life Watch out for thieves wherever you are! I’d like to tell a story about how I lost my wallet in the central city of Prague. About 3 years ago, I went to Prague with my friends. Prague is a marvellous place to visit. The city has more than hundreds of old buildings at the centre. There are numerous museums and art galleries in the city. Besides, their stores open till 10 p.m. which you couldn’t find in any European city! We had a great time while we wandering around the city from the Prague Castle to the Old Town Square. Moreover, we had wonderful meals there with reasonable price. Everything seems so perfect! However, bad things always comes with good things. My wallet was stolen! I really don’t know how was it happened. I always put my bag in front of me, and check it all the time. Because I know there are so many thieves in Prague that I must be careful of my belongings. I remembered the sunset was really beautiful at the Old Town Square, I couldn’t help to stop at the middle of the square and take a lot of photos. I think that’s why my wallet was stolen at that time. I focused on the beautiful scenery in front of me, and ignored there were crowded in the square. As I felt hungry and wanted to find a restaurant, I found my wallet was stolen. My mind was totally blanked at that time. Because all my credit cards, ids, and cashes in that wallet! How stupid I am to put all things in one place. Luckily I … Read more