Friday, March 7, 2014

In Route to Medellin, Colombia

I have learned that all plans can change. Chantal and I planned to leave on the early bus from Salento to Pereira and onward to Medellin. There was one small problem. We did not tell our hotel owner and unfortunately, Martha decided to sleep late. We were packed and ready to leave at 6:15AM. Unfortunately, Martha was not awake and we were locked into the hotel. We crawled back into our beds and waited for someone to wake up. At 7:30AM, we heard people in the kitchen. We said our goodbyes to Martha and paid our bill. We decided to have one last meal at Brunch before we left town on the afternoon bus.  We heaved our backpacks over our shoulders and walked to Brunch. 
Brunch won us over with the homemade peanut butter sign!
Oh, what to eat on our last day? I ordered a bowl of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt to keep me full for the day. So delicious!
We relaxed and used the Internet and wrote our goodbyes on the wall.
But before we left we each ordered a peanut butter brownie for the road. Yummy! I may want this at the end of the day! We heaved our backpacks onto our backs and walked to the bus station. The  bus for Pereira arrived on time. We bought our tickets on board the bus. I loved his outfit!
When we arrived in Pereira, we checked the times for the bus to Medellin. We realized we would be arriving at night and decided to spend the evening in Pereira and go to Medellin in the morning. Neither of us like to arrive in a new city at night. So, we booked the Kolibri Hostel and grabbed a taxi to the hotel. We settled in and talked about going to the thermal springs in Santa Rosa. When we realized it would be a 6 hour adventure, we decided to go see a movie instead. One of the joys of Central America and Colombia is the movies are really cheap! We walked to the Cinema and bought tickets ($2.65 each) to 12 Years a Slave. Neither of us knew anything about the movie except that it was in English and up for an Oscar. The movie was excellent! I am surprised at how little I know about the tv and movies that are popular. I have watched very little tv this past year and have decided I will not buy cable when I return. Why should I? I just need Internet and I can watch anything. Same goes for a cell phone plan. Travel has made me realize the plans in the USA are ridiculously expensive. I am bucking the system and buying a pay as you go plan. These are just the beginning of the changes I am making in my life when I return. Yes, I will be the crazy, hippy lady! But I am fine with it!! 

The next morning, Chantal and I took a taxi to the bus station and bought our tickets for Medellin. As we were waiting, I found a stand with fresh fruit for sale. Fresh pineapple chunks for $0.50!
I also got a couple and apples for healthy snacks on the bus. The fresh fruit is another thing I will miss when I return to the USA. With our obesity epidemic, I don't understand why we don't have fruit stands everywhere. as I have traveled the world, fresh fruit is readily available at most places. I love buying fresh cut fruit and freshly squeezed fruit juices as you walk down a street. 

The drive to Medellin was suppose to be 5 -7 hours but it took 9 hours. Road construction was in progress and the bus stopped several times and waited for 20-60 minutes. We watched as local salesmen sold food along the roadside. I was happy to see fresh mango slices! 
The small van with 13 passengers was not comfortable. Chantal and I got stuck in the backseat and were thrown around with an old lady. I watched as a 4 year old played in the aisle and ate anything her parents stuck in her mouth. I knew that was not going to turn out well. It was just a matter of time before she vomited all over the aisle, down her grandmothers seat and the front of herself. Seriously!?!?!? It smelled so bad and my sympathy vomiting was starting. I gagged as I reached into my bag and grabbed a tube of Vick's nasal. I suck it up my nose and covered my nose with my sweatshirt. Yes, it was probably rude but it was better than me vomiting. Unfortunately, it was a curvy mountainous road and the vomit swished up and down the aisle. I wanted out of the van. I was relieved when the parents finally started to clean it up. So disgusting! I prayed they were going to change her shirt too. No luck. I kept inhaling the Vick' was the better smell. I was ecstatic when we finally pulled into Medellin's bus station and I could get away for the awful puke smell. I looked around the station and was pleased to see Medellin nestled in the valley. My first impression was that Medellin was a cool city. We hailed a taxi to the 61Prado Hotel and decided to stay in and have pizza and watch tv. We were exhausted but happy to be in Medellin.


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