Visiting the twins
Trip Start Mar 29, 2010
14Trip End Sep 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
So after saying goodbye to our friends on the North Eastern coast of Colombia, we took a 15 hour journey to the supposedly dangerous, crazy, big boob capital and former home to Pablo Escobar (the famous Colombian drug lord).... we were off to Medellin!!
After a not so special bus journey we had arrived in Medellin. It's funny how cities are never how you imagine them. Medellin is a big city, in a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. Every building in the city was made of orange brick, with pueblos (towns) climbing high on each side. Contrary to the rest of the city, our hostel was in the green part of the city (Zona Rosa), also known as the rich area. It felt as though we were in Madrid, nice cafes, restaurants, bars, shops etc. Very safe indeed, quite the opposite of what we expected
Our first exploration was to take the new gondola line that goes up to the top of a part of the mountains surrounding the city. Once at the bottom we realized it wasn’t only a tourist ride, it was also used by everyone living up the mountain as a form of transportation, so cool! Once we got in our gondola, it was us and six ladies. Long story short they weren’t in the mood for a chat after a long day at work. After dropping the ladies off in their pueblos, we took the gondola to the top, where the city is in the process of building a massive park. It was really nice, green, and a lot cooler than in the valley. Only problem was that it wasn’t finished as of yet, so there really wasn’t much to see as there were no trails properly marked. While up there we met an aspiring politician from Vancouver, Glyn, who we visited the pueblo, Santa Domingo with. Winding narrow streets, people everywhere, beautiful views of the city, numerous people asking for photos and children posing as tour guides... this place was awesome. I’ve never been to the Favelas in Rio, but I assume they are similar, with just a tad more violence thrown in for good measure.
Medellin was definitely a great stop for us; the only negative was that we arrived in time for the weekend (the weekend when the presidential elections were taking place)
And oh ya, about the boobies....they do make them bigger in Medellin...much bigger!
So our healthy livers headed off to the next spot Lauren picked from the bible (also known as the guide book), Popayan. It is known as the white city....It’s very white.
The city, although very pretty etc., would have been very boring if not for two things, Augusto’s bar and a bike ride trip we took up in the mountains surrounding the city for Lauren’s b-day. Augusto’s(real name unknown) bar at first just seemed like another dark local hangout with cheesy artefacts placed all over the bar. But on further investigation, we noticed the bartender Augusto was a pretty cool old little Colombian chap. Secondly, he had a record/cd/tape collection bigger than any of us had ever seen, and thirdly, his bar had its own "love room". Basically a bench seat facing the wall, with just enough room for a set of knees to sneak in and a curtain (see photos). We ended up meeting a future good friend of ours our first night there (not in the love room)..
The next day or so we took our hostel up on a bike adventure up to the mountains. First they drove us and our bikes up the 25km or so to the top of the mountain (we don’t ride up btw). Once there we jumped in the hot springs for a couple of hours, threw some mud all over ourselves, then unexpectedly rode the fastest water slide any of us had ever been on, easily. We all thought we were going to fly out of the slide and die, but luckily survived and laughed our asses off when each of us arrived at the bottom! After that fun, it was time to ride home mostly downhill, for 25km. Highlight of the ride was a dog, “Tony”, chasing us for at least 5km downhill at full gallop, fully intent on following us back to Canada(or Sweden, unlikely).
Next Stop, Ecuador!