As it was only a three hour journey to Cali, I decided to go to Armenia! I was in Armenia last year, and it seemed a nice gesture! When I got there it rained so heavily, one couldn’t see a thing! Hm! Go on to Pereira. When I got there the rain had followed me, and the city was very uninspiring! I hopped on a mini bus to Salento! Best move I have made in ages!
Salento was on big surprise! So colourful, so friendly, so compact. I found a delightful B&ab and booked two nights! The next morning I caught a jeep to de Valle de Cocora. A stunning valley, lush, tropical and pure magic. I met a lovely young couple from Bogota. And together we climbed the mountain. At the first mirador, look out, I stopped. The rain had set in, the clouds lowering themselves and the fog settling in!
From experience, I knew that even if I climbed higher, there would be NO view whatsoever! As my knee was giving me a bit of grief, nothing serious, enough to be used as an excuse! I turned back. I found a cafe with a stunning view over the Valley, where I sat down down and drank to magic drinks of canelazo, a hot cinnamon drink with cloves! I found out when I returned to my hostel, that it has alcohol in it as well! I can’t say I tasted that, just cloves and cinnamon. It DID make me feel very relaxed and chilled out!!
I made up my mind to return tomorrow and hire a horse and visit the second look out. Good plan! I returned to the town, where there was a BIG parade. I sat in the sun, had a beer, and enjoyed the music and the parade of people dressed up in traditional costumes. Very interesting and colourful. My hostel was gorgeous with a great breakfast! Lovely people as per usual. I very much wanted to stay two more nights to do some more exploring around the Valley.
Such a shame, there was NO room at the inn, for the next three nights every where was booked full! I couldn’t work out WHY. Then I met an English speaker and was told it was Father’s Day in Colombia, and Colombians LOVE to travel in their own country! I felt a tad sad, but this is life, and on the road I went again. To Manizales this time. A short journey.