Saturday, April 3, 2010

In the Coffee Triangle

It's now April 3rd.

We arrived in Salento via a night bus from Medellin to Armenia and then a local commuter from Armenia into the misty hills of Salento.

It's hard to say what this place is like on an ordinary day. Our hostel owner says it is very tranquil, which it is possible to imagine in the early morning hours. However, the steady stream of families from the city on holiday for Semana Santa have clogged the modest, though freshly painted streets of Salento.

Despite the massive influx of tourists, it is a place where you feel you can sense its character. Kaitlin says it's something about mountain towns. Though I don't have enough experience to confirm or deny - I do know what the sound of old wooden floors makes me feel..and it is a possible connection between this place, Kaitlin's mountain towns, and the more than century old establishments that still survive in Camden, South Carolina. We have relished such spaces in the little time we have had. Allowing the musty smell to ferment conversations in our hostel with travellers from Cali and Manizales.

Those conversations morphing what we thought would be a lazy, uneventful end of the trip - into an exciting and emotional evening - and now an impromptu change of plans.

Our new friends from Manizales (a university town in the mountains closer to Medellin) Santiago and Irene have offered to be our transportation, from Salento to Manizales, from Manizales to Bogota, and from our hostel in Bogota to the airport.

I have been equally on the fence about changing our last few days in South America from a lazy three days to a whirlwind weekend. But after my overreaction in Viedma, I'm willing to calm my doubts for the potential of one last great experience.

So, in less than two hours we leave for Manizales. Tomorrow we'll spend the day (presumably) with Santiago and Irene - seeing what there is to see on Easter in Manizales. Monday Bogota. Tuesday early to the airport to begin the journey home.

With so much movement, I can't say when I will be able to post again. Hopefully before we leave the continent, but we shall see. To the whirlwind!

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