From the southern Colombia and Diary 1, I now
enters the western part.
I turn into a more narrow road, heading into the
mountains. I stop at a restaurant, but they kind of ignore me, when they
learn I don't speak Spanish. Well, only 50 kilometres to El Jardin.
After 10 kilometres, I reach the big mud-slide. It does look
challenging, but as I have been saying: I can get a rental car through, where
others fail to get their 4x4 through. Time to prove it. I walk the path
first, and my feet and flip-flaps are two lumps of red clay.
I clear the worse of, and try to enjoy the last 10
kilometres. Well, then it is additional 23 on another road, with exactly the
same conditions. It start to rain, and that does not make it easier. But, it is some
great views to the higher mountains and the green, lower valleys.
I head down towards the square, recognisable in this part
of the world, by the church. Here are numerous restaurants and tourist shops.
By tourist, I mean visitors from Bogotá. I get a !vegetarian steak!, mainly
shredded potatoes, rice, corn-bread, fries and a nice bean soup.
Photos of the day: Day 5: Reserva Natural Cuchilla Jardin - Támesis and El Jardin
After a good nights sleep, I finish yesterdays photos and diary, and then a
lot of accounting. At ten, I'm ready to hit the surounding nature. I drive
towards a viewing point, but the motives and plants along the gravel road is
too nice, and I park the car.
Her are great views to several green valleys and misty mountains. White rivers in the gorges, dark green coffee plants, tall bananas and much more. The viewing point is a bit disappointing, as it is just to the town, and it does not look any impressive from here. I had planned to find other small mountain roads, but I have seen enough for one day.
noon, I head back to town, and start hunting for several things - knowing it
is a huge challenged. accidentally I park the car right outside a shop which sell
power-plugs. I need a replacement from the huge Arab one with the converter.
I get a real tiny one for 1.000. Around the corner, I try a shop for
new flip-flaps. I had not expected to find a pair of black Habanas in my
size - but I do.
After having manages to find five out of five, I start
wandering around the town, enjoying the beauty of it. The last houses are
right at the fields, and the mountain views. The colours are bright, the
woodwork great, the flowers impressive.
When I return to the wet town after seven, it have changed into evening dress: Loads of LED lights, especially on the square and cathedral. The bars are packed, the restaurants start to. Every one speak Spanish - except me. I'm back at the office at eight, hoping to finish early. El Jardin and around
5. It is a short drive to Medelin (under 200 km), and through really beautiful mountains. The trees are covered in at least four species of cacti, the rivers are brown from washed out clay and here are only a few villages.
one point, the vultures have a party on one of several road-killed possums.
I meet several school-busses, all ancient and painted in bright colours. If
it wasn't for the design and the black smoke cloud, they look like brand new
turns out to be huge! And not attractive at all. I skip the hotel, till I
have seen the
Botanical Garden of Medelin. The GPS leads me in on a
service-road, and that cost me one hour. Massive queue, and when I finally
get to the turn-off, it is closed!
The next sight is the 200 meter monolith at El Peñón de
Guatapé. To judge from the map, it is a great area and a little town, which
must be filled with tourists. And that is a good
thing, when you are looking
for vegetarian food and a hotel.
it is time for lunch. The second place I try on the square, in front of the
church, have a vegetarian dish. Beans, egg, salad, fried banana and
corn-bread along with fresh juice for 10.000 pesos.
I find my way back to the town and its small, colourful
houses. It is not El Jardin, but it tries! After half the city, I treat
myself with tea and what I thought was cheesecake. It is just some milky
I try to capture the fjords and the big rock on the way out. Due to the low
sun, the contrasts are way to high, but I enjoy it anyway. I drive up
towards the rock, and stop when it get too large for the camera. A huge set
of stairs lead to the top and the strange building, but I can't be loured.
a few small villages, but most are living in scatted farm houses along the
road. Huge rivers have carved their way down between the mountains, and to
judge from their colour, they still do. Probably helped by man.
Santa Fe de Antioquia is yet another pretty town. It is
old, and have a dignity the former lacked. I find some supper: Vegetarian hamburgesa - with meat. Then I do several loops in this
charming town. The churches, the library with its green yard. The small
shops, the green squares. I'm sure one could spend several days here.
I even can treat myself with a beach, given I do a 15 kilometre detour to
Turbo. The mountains are big, and the views astonishing. However, I have
taken photos of it before,
and on a small screen, they kind of look alike. I
just enjoy the views. At one point, I pass a pass, and here are several
conifers. Whole mountain sides are planted with them. Another place, a huge
toad, Bufo aga?, crosses the road while I botanises.
Turbo at five, and it is not as I had expected.
Rather run down and poor. The road leading to the beach is not sealed, but
flooded. Here are a lot of locals, mainly in bars, but I only find one
hotel, right in the end of the road. I get a basic room, and head down to
the beach - or not! The concrete reach all the way out in the waves. No
sand, stone or even swamp. Might be high tide - and that it will be in the
morning as well.
From here, I head up to the northern Colombia in Diary 3