Manizales is a huge town. The bus station is enormous. I caught a taxi to my hotel, which was closed down! Okay. Now what? Luckily a bit down the mountain was a lovely artistic, clean place. I booked two nights. I was too tired to explore the city.

In the morning I caught a local bus to the Recinto del Pensamiento. High up in a cloud forest, this nature park has a fine mariposario, a butterfly enclosure. Lots of wild orchids and a huge medicinal garden. You take up a chairlift on the the top of the mountain, and with a tour guide you slowly walk down.

It was just a small group. The tour was in Spanish, but Luis Miguel spoke also a bit of English. My only regret was that the tour was only an hour. The first stop was a Colibri feeding station, where the little birds hovered around the feeding centres. I gave up trying to capture these delightful little birds on camera. They were just too fast for me!

Then down the mountains where we saw lots of different species of orchids. Stunning just stunning. Slowly walking down the slippery slope, it started to rain. Of course I had left my rain coat in the hostel, as you do!! By the time we reached the starting place I was throughly soaked through and through.

I had plans of going to the hot springs, but being wet and miserable, I decided to go back to the hostel, after a delicious Chinese meal of vegetables! I sure do miss my vegetables! I walked back to the hostel, got out of my wet clothes, had a hot, hot shower, and went to bed early! I slept like a babe, and woke up completely rested! Okay, what next?? Manizales had little to offer, so I made an on the spot decision to move on to Medellin.