Tortilla, Tejo & Treking
Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
56Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The journey was extremely scenic, we sped our way along roads built on mountain ridges with cavernous valley's flanking the winding road. After we had dropped our first consignment of passengers in Pereira we headed onwards to Armenia - imagine our surprise when the bus suddenly stopped in the middle of the road and the conductor started telling the passengers for Salento to get off (all 4 of us) - it was only once stood outside the coach that we realised the Salento bus had pulled up behind us and witha spot of luck we would save ourselves an hour of travelling time.
Arriving in Salento some 30 minutes later the weather was a little "damp" and swathes of the locals seemed to be sporting WWEllington boots (along with the prerequisite poncho and sombrero - quite a statement). We checked in at Plantation House, an old coffee.....errrr, plantation house owned by a Brit. Initially taking dorm beds we were lucky enough to get offered an ensuite private room for a modest extra 4000 pesos each - we duly enough took up the offer.
Having checked in, we headed out to grab a bite to eat before taking a look around town climbing the viewpoint and heading to the mirador of the Cocora Valle (The major attraction of the area).
Tejo, requires two teams(or individuals) who stand around 5 metres from a box full of clay with a 45 degree angle towards the player. Within the centre of the clay filled box is a metal ring on which are placed four small packages filled with gunpowder perched on the exterior (is it any wonder these Colombians have a reputation?). The player(s) throw a large (and quite heavy) metal "puck" at the clay pit with the closest throw to the circle winning a point. If you trigger an explosion, you get 3 points and if you land the "puck" in the centre of the circle without triggering an explosion you gain 6 points - in a contest to 21 - simple.
The following day Edgar and I headed off on a coffee tour (strange sense of deja vous crept over me) carried out by Tim (the British owner)
Lunch followed (courtesy of Jesus) and that afternoon as the heavens threatened to open up we sought sanctuary in the Salento "entertainment centre" (most of you are thinking that must be a pub, but no quite the contrary, a small room full of gaming consoles and packed with local children - Edgar and I embarked on a series of footie matches between Espana and Inglaterra (We won't say who won, only that I am unfamiliar with games controls in Latin America)
The following day Edgar and I headed to the Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora) famed for the abundance of wax palms scattered across the valley. After clinging on to the back of a jeep for the 11km transfer from Salento to the valley head
That evening we returned to the pool hall before heading for food - Edgar and I had placed a special order with Jesus for a fiesta of Spanish food, pan con tomate, tortilla, jamon, chorizo, patatas bravas and of course red wine (I supplemented the meal with a glass of Kalimotxo!). After teh exercise and excellent food I slept like a baby which was all well and good as the following day I would be on the move again.
Before departing Salento for the airport at Pereira (another flashpacking chapter beckoning) I enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast of (proper) bacon sandwiches (only the travel brown sauce was missing) and watched as Abid gave Jesus a culinary masterclass on making curry - strange things you see!