Exploring the Zona Cafeteria.
07.08.2010 - 11.08.2010
After another ridiculously bumpy journey back from San Augustin, we wound up in the lively city of Cali. The place was nice enough and we spent a few days there with some people we had met in San Augustin. The actual city wasnt really that exciting in the day, but we went out in the evenings for some beers and that. Its supposed to be the salsa capital of Colombia and our hostel had some free samba lessons avaliable so Sadie took part in them while I drank beer. Nice arrangement.
After a few days of doing not much, we all moved on to Salento- a really lovely town in the Zona Cafeteria (where they grow coffee). Salento was a really sleepy little town full of old colourful buildings from the coffee boom days, and all four of us rented a small little house together with a little garden and a balcony with some amazing views of the surrounding green peaks.
One day we went for a tour around a local coffee plantation which was very interesting, and we got to see the entire coffee making process which was cool. Even though I (James) dont like coffee. That evening we bought a ton of mincemeat and a bottle of rum and had a hamburger BBQ in our garden.
The next day we got up dead early to cram ourselves (and 5 others- 9 altogether) into a tiny, sketchy looking ´willy jeep´ to the nearby Cocora valley. We were feeling pretty rough seeing as the previous night had been our first proper drinking session in ages, but still managed to trek the pretty spectacular uphill hike through the forests to a lookout of the valley. The view of the valley was amazing, lush green peaks spread out before us, spiked with hundreds of giant wax palms- which are the largest palm tree in the world. It was pretty cool.
After hitching a ride back with a guy who had just fixed his jeep and needed to test run it back to Salento- to see if it still worked, we spent the rest of the day sat on our balcony watching cow herders and llaneros (colombian cowboys) trotting past our house. It was great- and we could easily have spent a whole week in that house if the owners hadnt needed it for themselves. Still, it was probably a good thing as it got us moving again, onwards to Bogota.