The Colombian Adventure! Part One!

The Princess and I are in Colombia visiting her family during the Holidays.  I will attempt to chronicle some of our adventures here on these pages, but more detailed information may need to wait till we get back. 

It has been a crazy ride so far… unlike anything I have ever seen.  We arrived in Bogotá, Colombia on Dec 10th (where I received a dose of altitude sickness… Bogotá is at 8600 ft), rested for a day… then off we were on a flight to Medellin.  The main airport is over an hour bus ride to the smaller older airport that resides in the center of the city.  Medellin itself is huge, a city with two legs of the Andes mountains going up either side, along with the city. 

Upon getting to Medellin, we grabbed a pre-arraigned Taxi (A friend of the family I am told) and we head up through the mountains on a harrowing two plus hour ride that had me hitting the imaginary brake on the passanger side of the little car.  With five of us, plus our bags, shoe-horned into possibly the smallest car I have ever seen… we drove at impossible speeds around mudslides, passing trucks on the outside right hand blind curves, I came to the conclusion that there are no real traffic laws in Colombia.  It might be best to have a few drinks before driving in this country!  One thing to note… the countryside is beautiful.  Enjoy the view and leave the driving to the taxi driver!

We arrived in Santa Fe De Antioquia without incident.  I am told this is the little resort town that the Colombians in Medellin come to when they want to vacation.  Other than the cars and the little motorbikes, the town appears unchanged in a hundred years.  Our hotel had the feel of a mini resort of a another age, as they did not accept credit cards… nor did they have any hot water! (This was a surprise, as mountain water generally very cold!)  The charm of the place was that it seemed unspoiled by the modern world.

Family that rides together...  Hammocks in the Hotel  Artist sketching church

Before we left the area, the Taxi driver Hector, told us we need to see the famous suspension bridge crossing the Rio Cacuca named the Bridge of the West. Originally built in 1895 and designed by one of the designers of the Brooklyn Bridge.  The story of the Princess and I climbing up the loose shale mountainside to get the pictures for the panorama I will eventually create will have to wait for another day… but here is an inclusive shot from a dangerous position about 75 yards up a vertical climb.

From here we drove back to Medellin and checked into our hotel and rested a bit.  Hector the Taxi driver picked us up about 8:30 for a 2 hour drive through the Christmas lights in various parts of Medellin.  This town is really lit up for the Holidays!

The next day we are greeted by Hector and it is off again for another mountainous driving adventure!  This time we head to Penon De Guatape.  The weather changes from a hot and humid Medellin to a cold and rainy day.  We could see where we were headed from a long way away!

The drive to this rock was beautiful, as is about anywhere one happens to look.  When we arrived in the parking lot, we had the real surprize, as the best views include a climb of 714 steps to get to the top!  It’s about now I wished I had exercised more before leaving!

Oh yeah it kicked my butt, but it was totally worth it!  The views and the pictures are amazing.  I have a collection for some panoramas I’ll create next year, but here are a few of my favorites:

Lastly we ended up in a small town named Guatape, a colorful place with reliefs painted onto each building:

And of course no adventure would be complete with the obligatory beer at the local Hard Rock Cafe in Medellin.  Princess and I enjoyed a few cervezas (beer) while unwinding from our wild adventures!

New adventures await!

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