What We Ate, What We Did

We’ve spent quite an intense week nerding it up. Lessons in the morning, followed by afternoons in a café or park studying and then most evenings doing our homework or just practicing our Español.

In order to milk Medellín for all it has to offer, we’ve decided to fill our last few days with as much as possible. After a healthy breakfast…

We head over to the Jardín Botánico Medellín. We didn’t really know much about the botanical gardens but I was pretty excited anyway. I do love a botanical gardens! We hop on the Metro, the cleanest public transport network in the world, and arrive outside the gardens.

As we walk in we’re surprised to find out it’s free.

We decide to have a little wander round the perimeter and then are soon drawn towards the lake. It promises turtles on the map.

Turtles and iguanas. I’m a bit worried about an iguana dropping out of a tree and landing on my head!

We wander round the lake, it’s full of turtles, fish and ducks. The next stop is the desert garden, full of cacti, succulents and possibly pineapple plants…

The gardens are pretty big, I can’t believe this place is free. My favourite area is full of different types of Palms. It’s gorgeous and there are so many different ones.

I also really like this big tree…

I really enjoy the gardens and it doesn’t even feel like we’re still in the city.

Oh and Dave came too…!

We decide on the way back to stop off at Plazuela Nutibara to have another look at the Fernando Botero sculptures. Surprisingly Dave was really into them.

We head home and have Mexican for dinner from a little restaurant down the road.

The next day we moved from the school hostal to one just down the road. The room isn’t ready when we get there so we drop off our bags and go to get some breakfast.

We have Arepas. They’re kind of a big deal here. From what I can gather they are maybe potato or bread or both mixed together and then fried. Everything is fried here! I have a mushroom mix in mine and Dave has chicken and avocado. I don’t understand the obsession with arepas, they are bland and dry. The fillings we have are really tasty, so not all bad.

We head back to the new pad to have a look around. It’s a split level apartment with a shared common area on the roof terrace. It is gorgeous, the views over Medellín are incredible.

We spend most of the afternoon playing cards looking over the city. We have an Italian for dinner and get an early night ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

We get up early have a quick breakfast and jump on the metro to terminal norte. We’re heading to Guatapé for the day. We’ve heard it mentioned and after a quick Google, decided it looks worth a visit. We head over to the counters to buy our bus tickets and they spot us a mile off. ‘Hey, hey, Guatapé, Guatapé, aquí, aquí’. We get our tickets and the bus is set to leave in 5 minutes. Perfect. The journey takes around 2 hours mainly winding up and down mountains. It’s quite a pretty drive. Then just as we’re almost at Guatapé the heavens open.

Our first view of the rock is not as spectacular as we’d hoped. The bus pulls up at the rock and a few other tourists jump off. We decide to stay on and head to Guatapé first and hope the weather sorts its life out. Almost as soon as we get to Guatapé it stops raining. It’s still pretty overcast and the view from the rock would still be pretty pointless. We have a wander around the centre and down some of the side streets. It’s very pretty, quaint and colourfully Colombian.

It seems pretty quite. Maybe the rain is keeping everyone away. We find a little café down one of the side streets and have a coffee, festive hot chocolate and some small cakes!

After our cakes we wander some more. It’s really starting to brighten up. There’s still Christmas decorations up all round town. This isn’t uncommon, most places seem to still have them up.

The clouds have started to clear so we get a tuk tuk back to the rock.

Only 659 steps to the top. That’s nothing! We pay our entrance fee and start heading up. Handily the steps are numbered so you can keep track of how far you have come. The view is pretty special already and we’re not even half way yet.

The rock is 2,135 metres above sea level. There are little signs on the way up saying if you feel light-headed, sick and have a headache to call a phone number. I ignore them hoping that will prevent a panic attacks. It works, I feel fine and we’re soon at the top. There’s a few more sneaky steps once you get to the top but what’s a few more steps eh!

Hmm, now there’s a little tower on top with a 360 viewing platform. We’ve come this far. Fine it’s 740 steps to the top.

It was definitely worth the work out. It’s stunning…

We get a couple more pictures, consider a beer but decided it’s probably still a bit early and start to head back down. It’s a pretty cool set up, you climb the outside stairs to get up and then the hidden inside ones to go back down.

Once we get down we start walking back to Guatapé. A tuk tuk driver shouts ‘Guatapé’ at us and we shake our heads with a simple ‘Gracias’ then the cheeky devil shouts ‘Ocho’. Done! We jump in and head back to the town. We spend the afternoon mooching around and buy a few little gifts. Including a hammock for ourselves.

We’ll sort out posting it home when we get back to Medellín.

Guatapé really is beautiful. It’s got a really nice feel about it too.

We get the bus back to Medellín and are treated to some gorgeous views of the rock from the road.

Once we get back to Medellín we head over to a street food stall just down the road. Andrés from class recommended it to us. The lady pops the stall outside her house most nights and serves up various Mexican dishes. Obviously we’re only here for one dish. Burritos. Now I’m not big into burritos but the man is somewhat a connoisseur. We order a veggie for me and carnes mixtas for the big man. It’s beer o’clock now so we grab a couple of those too.

The burritos arrive and we dive in. Wow! This is good! I scoff the lot and then persuade Dave to order another one for us to share!

What a day! I love Medellín and have a new found love for street burritos.

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