Wow! This city is so great and so very beautiful with green parks everywhere. First order of today was to go out and get lost in the Zona Rosa, a place that rocks until 2 a.m. and is full of fabulous daytime restaurants. My Casa Kiwi Hostel is three blocks away in a quiet but convenient neighborhood. I wandered about this morning in search of my first taste of Colombian coffee (yum) and 11 a.m. was too early for this sector. An hour later, the Ave Maria Restaurant served me up a spectacular feast of local specialties for about $11. Coffee, soup, and a huge platter filled with avocado, fried banana, rice, pork and chicken. Oh yes, this food is not spicy, but delicately lemony. So, that´s my meal of the day with a light snack from the market across the street for supper. I can cook in this kitchen but it´s so much fun to taste about town too.
Yesterday, our bus took eleven hours instead of nine but it was as modern and as comfortable as any airplane interior and I was bundled heavily against the cold AC. We watched 4 violent American movies, all with the theme of child kidnappings, gun battles, and car chases, variously starring Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Steven Seigel and enormous bang, bang, bang, but all dubbed in Spanish so I couldn´t follow the story. Shame on us for exporting such mental violence. There ought to be a narc squad for our cinema output.
We wound along hairpin roads in the two cordilleras that cover this countryside, passing through many poor villages and towns, and spotting the occasional wealthy hacienda, with swimming pool and luxurious fenced grounds tucked away behind palms, none of which had visible means of support – such as a coffee plantation or cattle ranch. Hmmmm?
This countryside is really very beautiful, whether mountainous or in the valley and Medellin, between two cordilleras, is the same temperature as balmy Florida. Perfect. I now how two good friends – Georgie (a girl) and Aaron, from Melbourne, whom I met in the Bogota bus terminal as I looked for someone to watch my backpack while I ran to the bathroom before boarding our bus. They were traveling here, as well, and had no hostel reservations so shared my taxi on the chance that Casa Kiwi could take them in. Sure enough. No problem.
I love my Casa Kiwi Hostel and am settling in for probably more than three days. I went for a private room for $25, shared bath, as I always had four or five roommates in my Bogota Hostel, so decided to treat myself. I already have many stories to tell about this great place but that will have to wait for another time as my eyes are tired and the sunscreen I sprayed my face with this morning is slipping down into them. Not very comfortable.
I shall close with some questions from Fawn, which I will try to pose to myself from time to time to keep you updated:
- What do people over here say about America, politics, economic crisis?
Not much at all, if anything. They like me being American, but that´s that. There aren´t many of us. a few, but many more Aussies and Kiwis. Zip, zero, nada on politics. Nonexistent subject. David from Germany, a financial consultant now traveling to fill his time, said he has met some former Lehman Brothers employees now backpacking the world. Apparently, he has something to go home to, but they don´t. That´s it on that subject. Home and the politics of the world do not impinge too heavily out here on the trail. I spoke briefly to a lovely Sabra here, who briefly acknowledged the Gaza stuff, and then the subject moved on.
Too tired. More questions later. Anyway, I want to go socialize with someone other than this computer.