Salento - coffee region

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October 21st 2015
Published: October 21st 2015
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salento square
After 11 days in the city we decided to go to the countryside to relax a bit. 6 hours later and we were in Salento, a pretty city in Colombias coffee region. The town itself is small but very pretty, but its attractions lie in its surrounding areas. On the first day we decided to do a trek which promises amazing views of the area. Gary wasnt feeling up to it so me and Corrina went ourselves. They said it was 15k round trip, but was actually 20! You had to take a jeep (called Willies!!) for half an hour then walk the trail. I am not a natural hiker so i did find it very tough. Tough, but the scenery was so nice that it was really fun. Plus the weather was perfect and nothing like Tayrona so it definately helped. THough i do think the trek itself was harder but maybe felt equal due to the heat.

The first hour or so was ok, mainly rocks but flat-ish and included crossing a lot of water. We then went up to visit a hummingbird farm where we had our packed lunch and relaxed a bit. By thsi point we
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typical street
were completely exhusted and a break done us good. we had to backtrack the walk a bit and then start the really tough ascent. IT felt like almost rockclimbing it was so steep and by this point we were at about 2000m altitutde so constnantly felt short of breath. We persevered and got up, i have no idea how long it took but definately felt like an age! Once we got to the top, it had clouded over!! We could literally see the clouds moving over, which kind of obscured the view. Bit of a pity but it did clear and we got some amazing pics of the palm groves on the way down. We were so happy to reach the top bec ause we knew that this meant that the rest was all downhill until we finally got collected by Jeep again!

As you can see the descent offered some amazing views, it also got quite cold and we had to put on our jackets. 6 hours of walking later and we finally got onto the car, i dont think i have ever felt so done in in my life! Getting a shower and out of my clothes,

starting trek
a rest and some well deserved food topped off a nice day.

After quite a few early rises it was time to sleep in, by that i mean about 9 hours sleep! We woke up and started another walk, this time to the coffee farm. IT was about an hour but was very pretty scnery and mainly downhill. We were greeted by the very sweet owner and soon started our coffee tour where we learned all about colombian coffee. It was a small local owned place so everything was done by hand, no machinery, and was an organic farm by status. They told us that it is very hard to get good coffee over here because 80% of the good stuff is exported abroad. This is true as i had never been that impressed by the coffee here when i thought itd be amazing. We got to sample some and it was delicious. IT was really interesting to hear the process, especially done by hand. Big respect for the workers and for keeping it local and fresh.

At time of posting, it is my last night in salento. Tomorrow we leave for Bogota, and on monday we leave colombia (sob!). We are going to a pub where they play a local tradition of drinking and gunpowder. Who knows what to expect!

Additional photos below
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rickety bridge

met this wee creature!


at the peak amongst the clouds
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flower at the top

palm tree groves

coffee farm

roasted beans

using grinder!
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coffee farm owner

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