Everything feels a little like a blur and I don’t know if I have the ability to write about my time in Salento, but I shall try with the aid of my journal to help with my terrible memory.
I just posted a mini life update which explains why my head feels all full of cotton wool and I can barely remember two weeks ago, as the show must go on.
We only spent three days in Salento, this is because we were in a bit of a rush. We had three more countries to see and only three months left (this is laughable and cryable at the same time) so we stopped here with the main purpose of doing a coffee tour (spoiler: this never happened).
We stayed at a really cool hostel called Luciemaga, it seemed like it once could’ve been a five star hotel. Everything was open with lots of glass; nice rooms with great lockers and big windows. It was a little weird as it didn’t have a kitchen in the hostel but a few doors down the kitchen was in this small cottage; we spent a couple of nights hanging out in the cottage as it had a sofa area where we could watch TV.
On the first day we explored the very small town. We walked up to the viewing point and tried out the coffee that the town had to offer. We found some really awesome and cheap restaurants as well which is always a bonus. This town was more rainier than we were used to but was definitely a welcomed change.
On our second day we planned to go to the coffee farm tour. We walked for about an hour along a very beautiful road, that was supposed to get to a farm. However, we somehow ended up deciding to turn back after an hour. Maybe we got bored, I have no idea. We stopped at a couple of small farm coffees on our way back however, and got to try some coffee.
On our final day we planned to do the Valle de Cocora hike. Which sounded easy enough. We went to the market place in Salento and bought a return ticket for the jeep to get us to and from the hike. There were two forms of the hike; the one hour up to see the trees or a six hour circuit. We ended up doing neither. ‘How?’ you ask. We somehow, ended up doing the wrong hike. We in fact, did not even make it into the park.
To explain, after being dropped off we walked straight. Following people on horses and arrived at a river, still surrounded by people we crossed and followed the trail. It was a muddy, weird, empty but very obvious trail. After thirty minutes we thought maybe, just maybe, this was not the right trail, the lack of people being the bigger hint. So we turned back; however, after five minutes of walking back we bumped into two Scottish guys. We spoke to them and they said, and I quote ‘we just spoke to a girl who said this was the one hour trek.’ And since we were on an obvious trail, we thought, ‘Awesome, we are on the right path after all!’
We walked for about an hour and as we got to a corner we saw a horse carrying these huge planks of wood walking towards us. At first seeming ownerless. However, a local gentleman followed behind and we chat to find out that we were in fact strolling along private property, that the trail was nowhere near and this was leading to God Knows where.
We did the trek back, feeling deflated and pretty confused. We went pretty much all the way back to where we got dropped off by the jeep. Taking photos along the way as you could see the famous trees and the scenery was fantastic. We laughed and decided we didn’t even need to do the hike since we technically just did a two hour one and the famous trees were all around us anyway.
I should clarify the hike is very easy to find, we must have been walking with our heads down. Quincy, in fact, has a picture of me with the entrance right in front of me:
At that building, you turn right, pay a small fee and literally walk up the hill that is in plain sight. Lord help us.
That was our time in Salento; here was also where the talk all around the Corona Virus started to become a bit ‘more’. Flights from Europe were starting to be withheld all through South America; but we still were not thinking too much of it. More of that story to come>
Thank you so much for reading this blog post! I really enjoyed our time in Salento, regardless of how ridiculously things turned out for us. There were some great local restaurants and I loved being able to walk around wherever we wanted; it felt good to be out of the cities! My previous posts are about my time in Medellin and Bogota.