Although the title is a bit misleading, we were quasi-abducted in Manizales. It started innocently enough, as we headed out of Medellin in the early afternoon, and, as usual, I was the tourist on the bus taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. Across the aisle from me (also typical) were the better views. So as I gazed longingly out the windows and around the people at breathtaking views on the other side of the bus, the man sitting across said ‘come here and take pictures, they are better from this side’. And so began our friendship. After talking to him for the whole 5 hour bus ride I had learned (among other things) that he was a Colombian doctor named Felipe who lived in Aruba and was on his way home for the first time in a year to see his family. He insisted we should stay with him (even though Marley had not yet met him, she was sitting and listening to ipod and trying not to get drugged by anyone) and I insisted that we should stay in a hostel. Apparently his insistence was stronger, as we ended up staying at his house that night. Not only was he home for the first time in a year, but it was also a surprise. Probably an even bigger surprise, showing up with two American girls. It turned out to be an amazing experience. His family was so warm, and so genuinely happy to show us their city. We went out to dinner and then an after dinner stroll, where they pointed out the famous church, the discotecas, the different music styles, and talked about how the city had changed in the last 30 years. The next morning they made us breakfast and showed us the messenger pigeons. Turns out Tio Javier has a whole flock of birds, and I even held one! (that picture is on Marley’s camera…so I don’t have access now).
After leaving our new family we headed up to the thermal spa in Santa Rosa de Cabal. Kind of expensive because it was a holiday, but it was a great spa day. And after saving money by staying with the family we felt like the splurge was worth it. We almost didn’t get a hostel though, but managed to secure something and bargain the price down.
After Santa Rosa we headed to Salento and stayed on a coffee farm. Beautiful small town, with the most amazing views. Traveling through the mountains always leaves me awe inspired. Even in the rain you can’t have a bad view! And luckily the rain clears up pretty fast, providing even better views!
We spent the next day on the bus, heading back to Medellin. We met up with our friends from the hostel in Bogota, and proceeded to teach them Catchphrase. All of them were British, and claimed the game was biased towards Americans (totally true). Didn’t really matter though, as a good time was had by all, and we headed out to la zona rosa for drinks and debauchery.
Heading out to Bogota on the night bus tonight, and can’t wait to get a taco de queso y bocadillo (a sweet/dessert taco!)