Friday, May 13, 2011

Guatapé y La Piedra

More pictures from Colombia!

We took a short bus trip out from Medellín on our second day in the city. This was our closest encounter with the effects of La Niña, which has made this winter the rainiest in Colombia’s history. We had heard about mudslides in Envigado, a community just outside of Medellín, and about terrible flooding in rural areas around the country, but on this trip we saw sections of mountain highways covered with fallen dirt and trees and even a few places where the road itself had fallen down the mountain, washed away in the heavy rains. Though our bus trip was punctuated by having to get out and walk to another bus on the other side of the broken highway, we made it to La Piedra – The Rock – and hiked to the top.

It was stunningly beautiful.

At La Piedra we made friends with two Colombian travelers and shared a cab into Guatape, as well as lunch and a boat ride. They were outgoing and friendly, and it really made the day much more fun. I’d hoped to see Pablo Escobar’s old house, as well as the spire on the top of the church at the bottom of the lake (when they made the lake, they moved a small town to a new, higher altitude location and flooded the old one), but our guide had his mind made up that we were going to see the waterfall where the water leaves the lake, and shortly after we left shore it started pouring down rain.

Once back on shore, we made our way up to the bus and headed back to Medellín. En route, we admired the "zócalos" on the bottoms of the houses in Guatape:

The rain had washed out a few more roads, so the trip back to Medellín took about three times as long as it should have, but that gave me plenty of time to explain to the woman sitting next to me on the bus that I was, in fact, a girl, despite my short hair, and that no, I was not a Catholic. She magnanimously informed me that she believed that everyone had the right to their own beliefs, but that I was wrong if I didn’t believe in a single God. She proceeded to explain to me how evolution could not have possibly resulted in human beings, and that even if it had, God must have created the monkeys. It was enlightening? At least the time passed quickly…

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