From Medellin to Cali

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
1
23
120
Trip End Dec 13, 2006


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Thursday, January 20, 2005

After we left Bogota, we headed to Medellin, in the north west of Colombia, the home of Pablo Escobar (the world's most powerful, rich and notorious criminal) and Francis Botero (the artist who makes his works appear fat and cartoon like). Medellin was nice to walk around to see the largest brick built church in South America and to visit the park displaying Francis Botero statues. We also went to visit the grave of Pablo Escobar (one time leader of the Medellin drugs cartel) but were unable to find it despite asking the locals in our best spanish. Medellin is set in a valley surrounded by beautiful lush green mountains and the bus ride there was really spectacular with deep valleys and endless green mountains and fields full of tropical flora (although the bus did break down on the way to Medellin!!). After Medellin we headed south towards Armenia in the Zona Cafetera and stayed there a few nights. Paul and I have decided to come home for a week and a half in May so we managed to book our flight tickets home when we were in Armenia and will be back from 20th May til 30th May to visit family and friends. We took a day trip out to the Parque Nacional del Cafe (a bit like Alton Towers only much cheaper). Paul and I had a great day getting muddy on the buggies, wet on the log flume, and having our stomachs churned on the rollercoaster and the 'enterprise'. We also got to see a show which was well choreographed with brilliant local dancing and vivid costumes. That was also the day that I ripped my trousers (as had been wearing them practically non stop for the last 6 months and they were wearing thin on the bum) and had to use Paul's boxer shorts under my trousers to avoid embarassment and the Colombians seeing my white bum! The parque is set among coffee plantations and is surrounded by beautiful mountains in the distance with Armenia (the city) just visible amongst the many bright green fields. Colombia really is blessed with beautiful landscapes and friendly people. We then moved to Cali where we've spent the last week, not because it's particularly beautiful but because we're staying in a fun hostel run by Davies (an English guy and Liverpool fan) and his wife Emma. We've had a good time in this modern city with an excellent shopping centre (designer clothes for you shopping girls) where I got some jeans which are not designer (as we're on a budget but still nice), fantastic huge steaks for 3 pounds, and tonnes of night life along the Ave Sexta (that means the Sixth Avenue). We've also been treated to English tea bags and I helped Davies make a curry the other night and tonight we're having Steak Pie that I'm going to make.. just like being at home really and it even rains (although not very much and most of the time it's sunny and hot!!). Paul's been able to watch tonnes of football (although not good results for Liverpool) and we've even been to the gym (although I was the one who made use of it whilst Paul relaxed in the Turkish bath) and then had an hour in the sun having a beer by the pool (it's a hard life!). We've been saying we'll leave Cali tomorrow for the last 4 days but not managed it yet but hopefully tomorrow we will and get to San Augustin in the countryside......
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