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Salento

rain 15 °C

We decided to skip Cali and go directly to the Coffee region further north. Loads of people recommend Salento, a little village set in lush green hills. It sounded quite a lot like Baños in Ecuador. When we arrived we went to a hostel called “Plantage house”. Lonely Planet has basically made it sound like this is the reason why you should come to Salento. Unfortunately the place does really not live up to the expectations. It’s not a terrible place; it’s just that it’s not much more than ok. Some things are wrong in Lonely Planet too, except it being more expensive, very basic, it does not have Wi-Fi, and you pay to use a slow Internet on the only computer they have (ok we skipped paying them). We met other guests calling it “Lying Planet”. Anyway don´t believe the hype, there are loads of other nice hostels in Salento.
Anyway, a great thing about staying in Plantage House was that we ran info Sarah, the Kiwi girl that I volunteered with in Ecuador. Really good to see her again, and I have forgotten how friendly and nice she is. Unfortunaly she was leaving that evening, but we got to hang out for a few hours to catch up with each other. Also I am sure that our paths will cross a few times in Colombia as she is also going north.
Salento is a great little place to hang out in. The village did remind us quite a bit about Baños, but both the actual village and the surroundings are much prettier. The village is full of these old colorful timber houses and as far as you can see there are green hills surrounding the village. The only negative thing about the place is that it almost constantly rains. We were speaking to a young guy that works in the hostel and we asked him if he likes Salento. He basically told us that he can’t stand it as it has been raining almost nonstop for the 10 years he had lived there.

On the second day we went for a hike in the area to see the famous gigantic wax palm trees. The path was so muddy though that it was almost impossible to walk. After walking 1 hour we had walked 1 ½ km. Many times it was knee deep mud and it was raining a lot. We had rented wellies from the hostel and we had full raingear on but still we were so wet and dirty after a while. The landscape got better and better and luckily so did the path. We saw a few waterfalls and had to cross a few rivers. Finally we came up to some garden where they had loads of hummingbirds (kollibris). We got some strange hot drink made on a type of sugarcane mix thing called “Panela”. This we learned is a very typical drink in Colombia that they eat with a big piece of cheese. Weird, but at least it warmed us up a bit.
We met a friendly girl that joined our hike to the top of the hills. Unfortunately the rain blocked the view a bit, but we got to see loads of those wax palms. They are funny looking trees. About 70 meters high (some grow up to 90 meters high) of which the first 69 is just a thin stick. Almost looks like the tree should break or bend.

When we got back muddy, wet and hungry we went to the supermarket. We could hardly believe our eyes, but there were our old friends from Luz Del Mundo, Nassim and Dan. So weird, but good to see them again. We thought that they had left South America by now or at least we did not think that we would see them again. In the evening we went out for a few drinks and managed to catch up a bit on what’s been happening the last few months.

The next day we went on a coffee tour with Nas, Dan and the girl we met on the hike. The tour was nothing special, but it was great to hang out with our old friends again. Unfortunately they will be travelling quite different from us, so this was probably the last time we run into them in South America. After wasting so many days on travelling during the day we decided to take a night bus north to Medellin even though it was only 6 hours.

Rivercrossing

Rivercrossing

Waterfall along the path

Waterfall along the path

Laura crossing a river on some slippery loggs

Laura crossing a river on some slippery loggs

Hummingbirds in the air...apparently their main cause of death is heartattack...or someone told me so at least

Hummingbirds in the air...apparently their main cause of death is heartattack...or someone told me so at least

Getting a shot when hummingbirds are sitting still isnt easy, getting two sitting still is damn near impossible

Getting a shot when hummingbirds are sitting still isnt easy, getting two sitting still is damn near impossible

Wax palm tree and view of the valley

Wax palm tree and view of the valley

The highest wax palm trees grow up to 90 meters

The highest wax palm trees grow up to 90 meters

Wax palm trees in the mist

Wax palm trees in the mist

Coffee bush

Coffee bush

First time we´ve seen pineapple outside a shop, I actually thought they would grow on trees

First time we´ve seen pineapple outside a shop, I actually thought they would grow on trees

Saying farwell to our old Luz del Mundo friends Dan and Nas

Saying farwell to our old Luz del Mundo friends Dan and Nas

Henrik posing on main street

Henrik posing on main street

There are loads of cowboys in Salento, though we did not see any indians

There are loads of cowboys in Salento, though we did not see any indians

Posted by hmontonen 22:01 Archived in Colombia

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....hummingbirds main cause of death is heart attack only because I am not there to STEP ON them. :-D Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Henrik.

by Elisa

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