Colombia · 37 Days · 11 Moments · May 2016

Ashlee Arnold

Aventura de Ashlee en Colombia

30 June 2016

El Gato del Río - Cats in Cali Sculpture and art installation in Cali very close to our hostel. This is pretty much all we saw in Cali... Cali was quite warm, humid and overcast for our time there. We had delicious Italian at La Rustica that put me in a cheese coma and lunch of the day at a vego joint that wasn't half bad.

27 June 2016

Valle del Cocoras We chose the lazy version of the valley hike... About 40mins hike in, lots of gazing around and contemplating the amazing scenery, lots of photos and 40mins out. We lucked out with a completely stunning weather day! It was super windy at times, but no fog rolling to eat up the tree tops. And can you spot the tiny human in last pic!? These trees are freekin' huuuge!

25 June 2016

Luciérnaga A great hostel on the edge of town with a restaurant/bar that has great live music and good food. It also has beautiful views & there's a really sweet spot to watch the sunset. And finally, to top it off, comfortable beds, big fluffy doonas and good pillows!
Salento, Colombia The five days spent in Salento were perfect for rejuvenating. We chilled for the first two days and visted the recommended gringo cafe Brunch and the restaurant at Luciernaga in between reading and vegging out with a movie. The beds were so comfortable with big fluffy doonas, it was impossible to leave them! On day three we did the lazy man's verson of Valle del Cocoras. We too the 7:30am jeep out to the starting point & went backwards along the trail, straight into the amazing valley of palm trees. It was a bit windy, but the weather was absolutely perfect otherwise. We moved to La Serrana Eco Hostel that day and spent another 2 days enjoying more food options like Makao as well as the hostel family dinner. Leaving Salento was hard! The scenery there is so green, beautiful & calming.

19 June 2016

Poblado Park Hostel, Medellín Sweet hangout spots Lots of space Great bar area Free breakfast Clean rooms Nice and accommodating staff Close to everything

15 June 2016

Granga Vidar Workaway After a 1.5hr bus trip from Terminal Norte and a 30min uphill walk with my backpack, I arrived at Granja Vidar. Cristian & Alejandra & 4 volunteers were sitting around the table eating a late lunch of fish & salad. It was obvious that everyone except me spoke Spanish very well. Not being able to understand anyone or communicate was my main struggle for the entire 5 days. Also, the lack of work schedule made it really hard. Not long after I arrived, Melissa, a young girl from Bogota walked in. She was able to translate a few things for me & she was also patient with my terrible Spanish. The finca had 5 dogs, 3 cats, lots of rabbits & guinepigs as well as chickens, ducks & goats. 2 of the rabbits that I would feed were really cute & curious & they loved to be patted. There were also more spiders than I cared for in the rooms. Overall it was a positive experience, & I think if I'd stayed longer, I would have started to enjoy it more...

14 June 2016

Guatapé After visiting La Piedra, we walked 40mins down the road to have lunch in the tiny colonial town of Guatapé. The town is super cute. Every building is brightly decorated and themed. There were also bushes everywhere with flowers in full bloom. It all felt very European to me, similar to the small towns in Switzerland in the summer. I had lunch at a vegetarian cafe, Nameste. The veggie pasta was delish! The town has a waterfront area that is normally lined with stalls for the hoards of tourists who visit on weekends, but most were closed on a Tuesday. We also saw some tourists enjoying the single zipline that is strung out across the water. It was easy to get a spot on the bus back to the granga, but standing for 30mins after such a big day of walking and listening to latino tourists argue over seats was almost too much for me.
La Piedra, Guatapé On day 2 of my Workaway, I joined 4 others to see la roca, La Piedra. The rock is definitely a marvel of nature & the Río Nare that passes by is thought to be the result of a volcanic eruption. Apparently the lake is man made, but I need to do some more research... Unfortunately the rock has been tainted by tourism. One side has been stitched up with concrete staircases & there is a castle style lookout built on top full of souvenirs. The top also offers simple cafes with beer, food & icecream. Apart from that, the view is astounding. The 470 stairs are definitely 'vale la pena' - worth the pain. The lake snakes out through the hills & the sun lights the different shades of green of the fields & estates. It's beautiful! The walk back down absolutely destroyed my knees as I was concentrating on trying to speak broken Spanish rather than where I was putting my feet. Needless to say my pillow called my very early that night...

8 June 2016

Fatties en Plaza Botero A park in the centre of Medellín overflowing with plump bronze sculptures.

25 May 2016

Cartagena Graffiti Tour pt 2
Cartagena Graffiti Tour Our knowledgeable Belgium guide took us on a four hour journey around Getsemaní. The works here make strong political statements and they make you think about the real Cartagena de Indias.