After the thrilling highs of last night’s burrito we were keen not to let the excitement drop for even a moment. Time to go paragliding…
We did a quick search for things to do in Medellín and, as well as the usual, an option to paraglide above the city appeared. I mentioned it to M and to my surprise heard “Yeah sure, that sounds like fun”. The price was pretty reasonable so we booked.
Tuesday morning me and my adrenaline junkie girlfriend bought a few Metro tickets and made our way to La Aurora. La Aurora is cool because it’s up on the mountain so the best way to get there is on the gondola.
The gondola is nice because as a tourist you get to see parts of the city that ordinarily you wouldn’t have any reason to visit: houses, schools, parks, etc, it’s very urban but the use of space is impressive. The gondola is also great for locals because it opens up the centre of the city to residents in the suburbs who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get there.
We waited for little while to enjoy the view before being picked up and driven 20 minutes to the top of the hill. Once there it was all pretty efficient, we got signed in, suited up and next thing we knew we were strapped to some fella while he and his mates were trying to make the parachute go up. Before long it did and we were in the air! We’ve got no photos unfortunately but M had a GoPro so we’ll be able to relive it when we get home.
The experience itself was a lot of fun. It just feels so serene and peaceful floating through the air. Maybe not so much for the guy in charge but it’s an incredibly relaxing thing to do for a passenger… Some passengers. I’ve hang-glided before, and this was a slightly different sensation but still fantastic.
I got M’s opinion while we were at the end of a 9+ hour journey. Here are her thoughts…
I was really excited about it and when we first took off I thought this will be nice, and calm, and thought it would be relaxing. And then it started to wobble about a bit and the guy started like, pointing to the floor and letting go of the parachute and stuff. And when you got caught in a windy bit it made you go up and down, all wobbly, I didn’t like that. But the view was good, and the guy was nice and he landed me dead in the middle of the 50 on the target. Impressive stuff.
Before we knew it our 20 minutes were up and I was being told to lift my legs while we landed bum first on the ground.
Safely back to earth!
This was our last afternoon in Medellín and we had one last thing to tick off of our to-do list, so we got back on the Metro and headed (that sounds quite American, apparently it is acceptable in British English too) over to the Memory House Museum. Opened in 2012 the Museum was founded to commemorate victims of the conflict within Colombia over the last 50 years. It would seem Colombians are quick to put any tragedy the country has suffered to the back of their minds, which can make for a happy existence, but arguably is not the best way to move forward and ensure mistakes are learnt from. It’s also something of a disservice to the many, many victims.
The museum helps to commemorate victims and show details of the dodgy past in Medellín. It’s all very lovely but the exhibits are all very Spanish, and our 5 days of lessons didn’t cover drug trafficking lingo so we downloaded an app to walk us through the museum in English. It helped but if I’m honest it was all a bit underwhelming, it was a nice idea but in my opinion the museum could do with a bit of work.
We went back to our new digs to make some dinner
We already had our bus ticket to Salento so the next day we jumped in a cab to the bus terminal. The bus itself was fine but the air-con was not… I’ve certainly had more pleasant 7 hour journeys but it wasn’t too bad. That evening we arrived in beautiful Salento and rode a ‘Willy’ to our hostel.
Willy’s are old jeeps that they use to more tourists around town and over dirt roads. We arrived in the dark and woke up to bare views