Splendid insight into Salento

Some blogs list the number one thing to do in Salento as “eat trout”. Guess we’re in for an exciting few days…

Salento is beautiful! When we visited Minca earlier in the trip I think we made a slight mistake by staying in the centre of town. It was convenient but when we were in or around the hotel we could have been anywhere. In Salento we made sure we were almost constantly surrounded by beauty.

The hostel pretty much made Salento for me. El Mocambo Was a little way from town but just far enough to feel like we were nicely isolated.

Day one we packed our bags and made our way into town. It’s a nice easy 20 minute downhill on the way in. Salento is not unlike Guatape, the heart is a church and town square, surrounded by a grid system and a load of mountains and hills and things.

Much to Emma’s dismay I believe one of the first things you should do when you arrive somewhere new is get up to a viewpoint to take a few pictures and have a look around. I think it’s how they got the idea for Google maps… We leapt up a few stairs and had a look.

See? Town Square and grid system

Later we popped into a local(ish) bar for a game of tejo

I can’t remember who won, but it was probably me.

It was a bit intimidating, a little like walking into a snooker hall around London but without the memership forms and racism. Em was a bit unsure about going in at first and I can understand why. This was a MAN bar, as you walk in there was a urinal against the wall with a curtain for privacy. We didn’t stay upstairs long but I doubt anyone used the curtain.

That said, the guys in there were all super friendly and very helpful, despite our tejo ignorance and non existent Spanish.

The game is free as long as you’re buying beer so we had a few games and then felt bad that our useless selves were taking up an entire lane when other people could be playing so we called it a day after M got an explosion!

I like tejo, but:

  • I didn’t get an explosion once
  • The bloke gave me the little woman’s rock to throw. ” Excuse me Sir ¿La roca grande POR FAVOR?
  • I will most likely die having never made the tejo thing explode
  • I hit the metal a million times but it never exploded
  • Emma made it explode and I didn’t

We had a little chat with a little man about his horse and left.

We very nearly stepped on a snake on the way home and when we were suitably far away from said snake, sat with a beer to watch a lightning storm off in the distance. Apparently it’s also important that I mention a cat snuck up on me and scared me, guess it helps paint a picture.

Next day we jumped on a Willy and went to Cocora Valley. They fill the Jeeps (or Willys) with as many people as possible so some lucky folk get to ride on the back.

Cocora Valley is a sweet walk up a mountain, crossing all kinds of rivers, leading to a pretty view. On the way down you get to see, potentially, the world’s tallest palm trees (Colombia makes claims and I’ve not checked whether there are taller palm trees elsewhere).

The trees are beautiful and it was a lovely day out.

We rode the Willy back to town and made ‘dinner’

We loved Salento so we added a couple of nights to our stay at Mocambo. Someone had booked to stay in our room but fortunately this pad was available.

The next day we planned to tour a coffee farm but the weather was a little bit shit so we pretty much just sat, played cards and watched the rain.

We popped into town when the rain stopped, went shopping, and played some more cards when we returned.

And that’s that… With much sadness it’s time to think about moving south and saying goodbye to Colombia…

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