~And let us pursue that most tempting of
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Coffee Region of Salento, Colombia!
Bryan made some friends while waiting for the bus in Armenia, the city an hour away from the coffee village of Salento, Colombia. Colombia’s national team was playing Argentina or something like that and a bunch of guys were watching it on a little TV in the station. I was on the van watching the luggage so Bryan could join the excitement. They loved having Bryan there, and cheered even harder when they saw I was taking a picture of them all.
We were only on the mini van/bus for a half hour or so before arriving to the beautiful village of Salento, Colombia. The drive was absolutely gorgeous with green luscious mountains and hills surrounding us. All I could say was wow, Colombia is amazing.
We did not book a place before arriving, but on the way there we read about a hostel called Plantation House and decided to trek our way over there with the backpacks after the bus dropped us off in the center. The hostel was located near the village but far enough away that it felt like we were in the middle of the jungle. Luckily, they had a spot for us for a night.
I knew we had finally made it to the coffee region when I learned the hostel had delicious coffee 24 hours a day. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
We woke up to beautiful weather and decided to make our way over to a breakfast joint we heard was really good. The guy who owns it was actually from Portland. He traveled to colombia several years ago and loved it so much he ended up going back to stay permanently. I don’t blame him. Bryan had biscuits and gravy for the first time in a long time, and I had the best granola and fruit. Seriously, all the good fruit was there. He also told us he had a mini theatre with thousands of movies that we could use whenever. We were definitely going back.
The rest of the day was spent exporing the lovely village, playing cards, and drinking a lot of coffee. Aah, life was good there. Oh, and we went back to the mini theatre and watched Quentin Taratino’s Django Unchained with a british guy from our hostel. It always nice to come across places like this while traveling.
The next morning we met a couple from Norway who were also doing the same hike we were, so we teamed up and make the trek together. So, this region of Colombia is known for having wax palm trees. They’re like palm trees but not. They grow a completely different fruit and they grow to be really really tall. The trek we went on had several of these scattered throughout and it was absolutely stunning. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m pretty sure these trees are only found in Colombia. We had a blast hiking with our new friends, and thankfully, I did not get peed on by a monkey. Sometimes things just go your way, you know?
The following days included exploring Salento and relaxing at the Plantation House. At one point, the owners at Plantation House told us they didn’t have any room at the inn and if we wanted to stay we’d have to stay in the actual coffee plantation which was a pretty long walk in mud from downtown. We were pretty upset, but as soon as we got done packing, the owners told us they had two beds after all and moved us to a different room. A day later, we went on the coffee plantation tour and learned a lot about the process of growing and sellling beans. We visited the coffee planation house and learned we should have been staying there the whole time. It was in the middle of nowhere, but it was surrounded by beauty. People who get to stay there can pick all the fruit they want from the trees, inlcuding bananas, mango, and pineapple and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was a place I could have stayed for weeks. Not to mention, the Colombian man in charge of taking care of the beans made fresh roasted coffee every morning for the backpackers there. Why oh why didn’t we stay there?!?!?