Medellin

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
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18
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Flag of Colombia  ,
Monday, November 12, 2012

We spent three days in Medellin, mainly just resting up after our trip up into the mountains. We moved into a different hostel after one night, as although it was pleasant enough, the staff only spoke Spanish, as did all of the Colombian tourists who were staying there.  We wanted somewhere a bit more backpacker friendly, with a more homely, relaxing vibe.  Thankfully that is just what we found at the Black Sheep Hostel; as it was owned by a kiwi, you wouldn't expect anything else of course!

Medellin is a big city, with a population of 2.5 million people but as it was nestled in a valley with high hills on both sides, it felt bigger still.  The area that we stayed in is known for being the ritzy part of town, with lots of restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, parks and lots of glass fronted high rise buildings.  The main square had every type of dining experience you could ask for; Italian, Thai, Mexican, sushi, pizza, burgers, noodles….  The whole area was buzzing in the evenings, mainly with locals who were all dressed up with high heels on and tight clothes revealing their gorgeous, latino bodies.  It was quite the spectacle to watch the rich people of Medellin making the most of the long weekend. 

In contrast, the vast majority of the city residents were living in shanty looking houses in relative poverty.  We walked around the central area of the city where people would try to sell bits of tat for enough money to eat that night.  There were also countless homeless people lying on the streets, with dirty feet, matted hair and a look of pained starvation upon their faces. The gap between the rich and the poor was clearly noticeable in Medellin, even to tourists who were staying for only a short time.  I would imagine that this is because usually the poorer housing is on the outskirts of the town, so not as visible to tourists. Whereas in Medellin the attractions are still in the centre but the development and "cleaning up" of the city has happened in a separate area, which is where we were staying.

We spent some time checking out some of the old, grand buildings and also a park area of Botero sculptures.  I don’t know much about him but he was from Medellin and he seemed to like his ladies to be large.  He has hundreds or thousands of paintings and sculptures of them around Colombia.  They are really distinctive and quite fun and the Colombians seem to love them too as we see his paintings up all over the place.

Other than that, we mainly chilled out, chatted to some backpackers and caught up on some extra calories!  This was helped considerably on the Sunday night, when the hostel owner cooked up a huge BBQ, which he said was “all you can eat”.  I believe Kory and I did a good attempt at making him re-think that statement, as we tucked into three plates each of chicken, pork, sausages, steaks, salads, potatoes and breads.  Now after three days off the bikes, we are all ready to pedal off again, heading South into the Colombian coffee growing region.  Sounds like it should be fun!      
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Comments

Grandma on

Sounds like a variety of people!!!Enjoyed the blog, and the pictures are beautiful. Keep them coming, O.K. Take care, love and hugs!!!

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