<<  Salento, 1-Aug-2015  >>

Coffee, ponchos, horses, salsa, cocaine and palm trees

Welcome to your South America dream come true, deep inside Colombia

Colombia is huge and I had just short time, so I took another flight (first one was from Bogota to Santa Marta) across half of Colombia to see Zona Cafetera – Colombia’s coffee growing region. Right in the middle of that region lays beautiful village Salento. Another colonial beauty: white houses with colorful balconies, surrounded by green hills. Sure, there were loads of tourists, but the village managed to remain its authenticity. The local men wear fashionable ponchos and hats, people riding horse pass you by from time to time. Late in the evening local bars get filled by the locals of all ages and sizes who come to dance salsa. Amazing thing to watch. Unlike the Peruvians, Colombians are very vivid and (at least seem to be) happy. Pool bar was full of men playing pool and carambol, all of them playing like real masters, although some of them played in gummy boots. I had a long chat with a man in his fifties he told me that his job is to go twice a year for vacation to Europe… with a bag full of cocaine :-) He told me he was jailed in Italy and England for 4 years in total. This year he was planning his “working vacation” in Spain and when he found I was going to Spain as well, he offered me a “job” which I politely refused.

Late at night, while I was sleeping in my hostel room, guess what woke me up!? Yep, that’s right: heavy breathing, juicy sounds… people fucking again! Nooooo!!!! But luckily, this time the couple (I think they were from France) just had quiet, somewhat romantic sex, trying to be as silent as possible (which of course they failed to be during the girl’s orgasm, as always), and after they finished their business they went to sleep right peacefully. So except those 15 minutes of sex I managed to get some sleep and there was nothing to complain about. Anyway, I think I’m definitely getting too old for staying in hostels.

I hardly drink coffee, but during my travels I realized that places of agriculture have undeniable, rural beauty – wine regions of Central Europe, Spain, USA or Australia, tea growing regions in India, rice fields of Bali, Caribbean sugar cane plantations, olive groves of Spain… With exception of corn fields of US’s Midwest (which are just fucking boring, nothing more!), all the agricultural places are wonderful, so I excepted that Colombia’s coffee plantations would also provide some feast for eyes. And I was right. Plus, around Salento, among the coffee plantations, grow Wax Palms, the tallest palm trees in the world. All in all, the scenery of this region is just great! Check the photos.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak