I used to beg my Colombian roommates to bring me coffee.
In Buenos Aires (where I was working before this whole travel shebang started off), coffeebeans were expensive and hard to find. I could usually pester my roomies to bring me a few bags of the good stuff now and then when they visited home, or at least pester them to pester friends who came to visit.
Having that special affinity, I was excited when I moved on from Bogotá to the Eje Cafetero (the coffee-growing region). One of the things to see (which, ok, has nothing to do with coffee) is the Valle de Cocora.
This is where Colombia’s famous wax palms grow – hugely tall spindly trunks with a little poof of fronds at the very top, drifting in and out of the mist.
From a town called Salento, you can catch a ride with a group in a ‘50s-era Jeep up to hike around in the valley. I didn’t know anybody, but ended up hiking around with an Irish couple and a few travelers from Spain.
GO HERE if you get the chance!
The day’s only drama happened while we were careening up a steep mountain road.
Just as I was wondering how people can drive like bats out of hell and never manage to crash, I heard a CRASH and felt glass shatter everywhere. We screeched to a halt.
When I opened my eyes, I saw that a truck driving the other way had passed us so close that he’d smashed the drivers’ side mirror off!
Our driver’s forearm was gashed and gushing blood all over the place, but he just shrugged and tied a rag around it like it was no big deal. No yelling or road rage or threats of a lawsuit – quite impressive if you ask me.
And that’s the last crashy story I have for you. I don’t want to make you think that if you go to South America you’re necessarily destined to go crashing around the continent – the portion of my trip spent crashing into things was actually extremely small – but you know, it did make the day interesting.
Anyhoo. Anybody else been here? What did you think?