Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Metro Cable - Medellin

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Salento/Valle de Cocoro, Colombia

I have been slacking. A lot has happened since I've written last. I left Bolivia on October 7th.  After as sleepless hell ride from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz I flew to Lima, where I had an 18 hour lay over. My goal in that 18 hours was to eat ceviche and try to see some of Lima. I failed. Peruvians don't eat ceviche past 5 so the best ceviche places were closed when I arrived around seven. Total bullshit, I know. The cab driver I paid to take me to a predetermined hostel decided to take me to different hostel named Shablul. Shabul means snail in Herbrew. Shablul has a hebrew name because it is a Jewish hostel. I figured this out when everyone in the Hostel was speaking Hebrew. They all figured out I wasn't Israeli or Jewish pretty quickly.

My one night in Peru was spent with a group of Israeli soldiers, eating shawarma, talking about Rahm Emmanual and learning Hebrew. It was an authentic Israeli/Peruvian experience. I did enjoy myself.

I arrived in Bogota on the 9th. I met a few friends from Chicago and spent three days wandering around the city. I'm not writing about Bogota yet. I'll be back there in a few weeks with my brother Bart and some other friends. 

From Bogota we went to Salento. Salento is coffee country. It is lush forest, ferns, mountains, banana trees and coffee plants. The views are spectacular. The weather is rainy but temperate.  The town itself is quite touristy but the surrounding country side is well worth the trip.
A Coffee Farm

Colombia exports the majority of its good coffee, which sucks when you are in Colombia but great when you are in the states. We did a coffee tour and learned the in's and out's of producing coffee from a 19 yr old that drinks about 20 cups a day. He must have been drinking decaf the day of our tour because he was half asleep while he guided us around the small farm. 

Sad Fact - The average cup of coffee in Colombia is pretty mediocre.

View from the Hostel. Cows and Bamboo.

Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley)/Cloud Forest
Most tourists come to Salento to visit the nearby Valle de Cocora and its cloud forest.

Hiking through the valley

Wax palm trees

Just really happy to be in the cloud forest