Published: March 7th 2011March 7th 2011
Well it's been a while since we were in Medellin, Colombia. In fact we have travelled the length of South America (nearly) and all the way back to Australia since!
We found Medellin to be a bit of a disappointment, though it was probably our fault for arriving on a Monday as opposed to the weekend. The part of the city we stayed in was as nice as any suburb at home with a Maccas and a shopping centre more expensive than indro. During our time there we checked out the city centre, where as we stepped out of the cab, were greeted buy a homeless begger with his hand out and a "welcome to Colombia". I'm not sure whether he was being friendly or trying to emphasise the poverty factor. Anyway, there didn't seem all that much to the city centre other than all these statues of fat people which was pretty cool in a weird way. We also got a cable car to the top of the mountain which had awesome views of the city. It turns out that the suburb we stayed in is really not the real Medellin, which is in fact a gazillion shacks and old crumbling buildings smothering the hills.
So after a few days we got out of that "crack den" known as Pitstop and made our way to Salento in Zona Cafetera. To get here we had to get the bus to Armenia first. By the time we got there it was pretty late so we decided to spend the night there and get an early bus to Salento the next day. We ended up staying in the bus stop where the bus drivers sleep.. at least it had cable tv!
Salento is a tiny lush town surrounded by mountains and trees and coffee plantations. It consists of a few streets that mainly consist of restaurants selling trout and this weird but tastey nacho dish. Unfortunately it was raining most of the time here, but we still went to a coffee farm where they showed us the coffee making process.
After Salento we made our way back to Armenia and got an overnight bus to the border of Ecuador. While we were waiting for our bus, we went to an internet cafe where the owner asked us if we spoke "Australiano" as well as English- hilarious! It also turned out to be valentines day so Tanz and I searched restaurants on trip advisor and went to this super fancy place which was half way back to Salento. Worth it though!
We crossed the border into Ecuador around 6 the next morning and from there we got a 5 hour bus to Quito, a 1 bus to the other bus terminal, and a 3 hour bus to Banos. I think this may have been a really silly detour as we were so tired we didn't do anything but get another overnight bus to Guayaquil, where we then got an 8 hour bus to Mancora, Peru. It was a very long few days to say the least!
So the original plan was to stay in Loki, Mancora for 4 nights, but every morning it turned in to 1 more night until we reached 11 nights. That place is addicitive! We met some of the coolest people there, and were treated very well by the bar staff. Most of our days were spent by the pool, swimming, eating, reading and drinking delicious cocktails and slushies. We had some pretty sweet Mexican and beef "feeds" here too. Did i mention the gazillion tequila shots? I'm not sure i can shot anymore, which is a pity because i only just learnt how to shot on this trip. Oh and one night there was this crazy Chilean rapper dude in his 30s who decided to scare everyone at 4 in the morning by threatening other Chileans and saying we tried to kill him and stole all his stuff.. or that's what i gathered from their broken English and my crappy espanole. After this happened Tanz and I slept in the staff room, and poor Adam was left in the room on his own with the rapper dude who started rapping and throwing $100 bills at him. hahahaha.
Anyway, we finally had to leave Mancora so we bid farewell and began our mission to get to Buenos Aires in 4 days. This mission consisted of a 20 hour overnight bus to Lima, a flight to the border town Tacna, a 27 hour overnight bus to Chile, a flight from Chile to Montevideo, Uruguay, and another flight to Buenos Aires. Another grumpy few days which wasn't helped with our swollen feet! Though when we arrived in Buenos Aires we didn't have to pay the $100 reciprocal fee Australians have to pay as we were only staying for 24 hours.. what luck!
On our last day in South America, we hung out in the city and Tanz got all the green cut out of her hair (from the pool at Loki hahaha). She wasn't very impressed with her new do. Actually my hair has become pretty gross too; it's so dry it will stay in a bun without me even using a hairtie! That night we went to an awesome cocktail bar and steak restaurant where we shared a steak and a bottle of red wine.. the classiness of Loki has appeared to have rubbed off on us!
The next morning we made our way to the airport (after Tanz got stuck in the hostel lift for about 15 minutes) and got on the flight home. I watched about 6 movies and 4 tv shows and ate ravioli and salmon and icecream and all this other delicious plane food. When we landed customs wasn't even a bitch and i got my dulche in.. woohoo!
So since this is my last blog for a while, there are a few awards that need to be presented:
Most beautiful places: Lanquin- Guatemala, Santa Teresa- Costa Rica, San Blas Islands- Panama
Craziest parties: Playa del Carman- Mexico, Utila- Honduras, Bocas Del Toro- Panama, Mancora- Peru
Scariest men: Nicaraguans
Scariest women: Belizians
Scariest place: Belize City
Nicest people: Colombians (other than the taxi driver who gave us fake money)
Days without showering: 2
Best show: Timmy
Gods gift to backpackers: face mask
Grossest feet: Tanz and Curtis
nights without sleep: 1
Nicest food: Argentina, Beef House- Mancora
Best brownies: Costa Rica
Worst tan line: me
Amount of times sick: 3 (major times)
Best married couple: Erik and Stefan
Most played song: the Manana song
Best hostel: Zephyr Lodge- Lanquin, Yuma’s House- Caye Caulker, Loki- Mancora
Worst accommodation: Smokin Balam- Belize City, Bus stop in Armenia, Cabana in Taganga
Worst pick up line: “Can’t we just see each other naked and not do anything?”
Person we’d most like to see in a glass box with a top hat lady: Hessle
Most beautiful beaches: San Blas Islands and Santa Teresa
Most dedicated readers: Heather Brown and Cherylin Davel
In 3.5 months we covered 9818 km from LA to Buenos Aires. I can't believe i'm finally home. It's actually weird having to readjust to flushing toilet paper, drinking tap water, not trying to speak Spanish, not saying goodnight to a million people, being able to press shift and 2 to produce an @ sign and loads of other things. Not particularly looking forward to the post travelling blues, but it's not long til we're on the road again...
Until then, Adios!