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Published: September 24th 2012
my first hostel!
on the balcony of our hostel, the KGB, in bucaramanga
hey everyone! so i haven't had a lot of time to post our adventures thus far. in this post i'm going to jump back to only last wednesday and thursday... which were the days that we reached bucaramanga from san gil, and also visited matanza, the home town of carmen's madre, cecilia.
on wednesday, we finished the trip to bucaramanga on a bus, another 2 hours or so, therefore getting in fairly early that day. we decided to stay at our first hostel here too. both adam and carmen have stayed in hostels before, but it was my first time, and it was a suprisingly fun experience! it's called kasa guane and we shared a dorm-style room that had six bunk beds. no other roommates on the first night, so we had the room to ourselves, and then shared the room with some random guy the second night (he came in late and slept late so we never even got his name). we had our own balcony overlooking the straight (see picture), but had to share a bathroom (fortunately it was pretty clean). the hostels here really cater to their guests...for example there are fans in the rooms, a top-floor
beers in matanza
our first stop right off the bus
hang out area outfitted with a huge flat screen tv, couches galore, a pool table, and a fridge full of beer that you can just add to your bill, pretty fun and straightforward! we got settled into the hostel then left to go see carmen's family that live in bucaramanga. tia blanca (aunt blanca) is in her 80's and was married to cecilia's brother alvero (who sadly passed away in 2008). their daughter and her husband, sonya and henry, also lived close by, so we got to chat, see OLD pictures, catch up, and see an amazing roof-top view of b/manga from sonya and henry's top floor condo. really cool town too...it's an economic hub with buses coming and going constantly, it's medium sized (about 1 million people), with great food, friendly people, and a laidback lifestyle. we were feeling a little homesick and decided to try a recommended italian restaurant (again, see pic), which we liked so much that we ate at two nights in a row (great wine!). it was really nice meeting and getting to know blanca, sonya and henry, they're all such sweet and caring people. they even took us around on a quick car tour
matanza town square
there wasn't any water in the fountain, but it's beautiful regardless
showing us all the historic buildings and parks, and some of the homes and land owned by family members long gone.
on thursday, with the help of sonya and henry again, we hopped on another bus for two hours to matanza, the small town where carmen's mother was born and raised. what an amazing experience, probably my second favorite so far this trip! the bus ride was incredibly scary however (as most bus rides have been thus far), but this time the road we traveled on made the burke-gilman look expansive, with railings around sharp turns and steep cliffs that would not stop a bicycle! we're all glad that part is over. anyway, matanza is a beautiful town nestled against a moutain with surrounding lush peaks and valleys everywhere you look. we spent our few hours there walking around the city, seeing the church, speaking with locals, having a beer, getting friendly with the local domestic animals, and, while we were waiting for our bus to return to bucaramanga, we got assaulted by about 20 local kids ranging in ages from 5 to 14. it was crazy! the wanted to practice their english, ask us questions, talk about their
the emerald hills surrounding matanza, this is the view looking west from the city
familes, enquire about ours, look at pictures on our phones. one kid even had a spanish/english dictionary to help him out! they were so cute and eager for knowledge. adam even gave one kid his k2 hat which sparked a quasi riot, thank goodness the bus showed up just then!
the next day, friday, was our final 8 hour tortuous bus ride from b/manga to medellin. more on that tomorrow. gnight all, and special love and thoughts to our family in atascadero, we love you! xo
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