During our excursion, I had plenty of time to think about the situation of the closed Lost City and decided to travel further with Dorine to Medellín and Salento. I would then continue on my own to Cali, where I was going to stay with a friend. From there, I would be able to take a return flight to Cartagena and finish my tour in the North.
Because it was already late when we came back to our hostel in Riohacha, we stayed one more night there and left for Medellín on the following day.
But it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. There was only one direct bus a day, which took 17 hours and it was full. It doesn’t happen very often but, when it does, you have to become creative. Or ask the bus companies to be on your behalf. All you can do yourself is to be patient and remain faithful.
The thing is that, in some Colombian cities it is recommended not to arrive after dark. Or to spend too much time in the terminal at night when in transit. We were therefore looking for a solution that would enable us to leave before dark and to arrive after sunrise. In the end, the deal was that we would arrive at Montería around 6.00 and, from there, take another bus to Medellín.
That ONE bus we would rather have had arriving late than early, was one hour ahead of schedule. However, we didn’t encounter any problem in the terminal of Montería. Except that I got locked up in the cash machine cubicle of course. It was a bit of a panic moment, the police almost got involved. But, finally, all that was needed was a bit more determination on my side. I released myself and we continued to Medellín without any further incident.
We stayed two nights in Medellín, in a hostel where Lucy, a British lady Dorine had met while traveling Ecuador, was working. She took us to discover the city center, together with Ezequiel, an Argentinian equally working at the hostel. Botero was very present during our tour. Though, when I published my pictures on Facebook, I got the comment that there are many more things to see in Medellín than only paintings and sculptures of voluptuous people and animals – seeing the back of some of his female representations, I thought it would be correct to rename the artist “Butt-ero”. I guess the problem is I didn’t spend as much time there as I did in other cities. Also, I seemed to need a pause from my camera. Inspiration was not there.
On Lucy and Ezequiel’s recommendation, we spent our next day in Guatapé, famous for two things: its rock, at the bottom of which it is claimed you get the best view in the world, and its colourful houses.
We started with the view. To be able to enjoy it though, you first need to climb 740 stairs. The fist 200 went fast. After that, I needed to take a short break every 50 to 75 stairs. But I finally made it to the top. And it was breathtaking! I don’t know if it is the best view in the world but it can certainly compete.
After that, we took our time to wander around Guatapé and let ourselves be enchanted by the joyful streets. Colours do help to cheer you up – not that I particularly needed it – and so does the sun. We could see that the latter wouldn’t last that long anymore. We just had time to enjoy a passion fruit juice and go back to the bus stop. We got wet before we had a chance to board the bus. The same evening, we were back in Medellín.