IMG_7247After having spent some days settling in and getting to know the city of Medellín, we decided to take the opportunity to visit the famous Colombian coffee zone – Zona Cafetera – and its charming culture and colourful  small towns. My father recently moved to this area as he fell in love with the landscape and the peaceful life of the countryside, so we all went to stay at his place for the weekend.

The bus ride wasn’t all that bad, we had to drive past some trucks that were in our way, play with death on the narrow mountain roads and stop for a little to let the giant pregnant iguana that was sunbathing on the highway, pass.

On the way I tried to point out some of the interesting vegetation to Jonas – plantain trees, sugar cane and coffee plants – but quickly realized that my knowledge of the trees and plants of the world’s second most biodiverse country is limited. Nevertheless, we arrived alive and well in Filandia, ready for new adventures.

Some family members from nearby came to join us to see the finca (country-house) my father and his wife are building, followed by eating obleas (crackers with caramel sauce and condensed milk) in town. We were then taken to a viewpoint and later on to a very nice city-meets-small-town-meets-new-take-on-colombian-cuisine restaurant.

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Sunday morning, after a traditional breakfast, we went to another small town nearby named Salento. As we arrived we went to look at all the handicrafts, but quickly noticed that there was a protest about to begin. Our curiosity got the best of us and we were given t-shirts and flutes when we approached them; turns out it was a march for Human Rights focused on protesting against the violence towards women!
The organisation Dignidad Humana (Human Dignity) held the protest. It was triggered by recent violent acts towards a girl in the village and the boys that took part had prepared texts and poems that they recited as we walked through the busy street and around the park. We couldn’t have been more lucky.IMG_7223 Salento

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunchtime followed and most of us had grilled trout – the local speciality. It is also worth noting that the coffee in the Quindio region is absolutely fantastic and every single bar restaurant or kiosk have their own types and beans that they grind. Highly recommended for all the coffee-lovers out there.

Jonas and Adelaida had to return that same day, but Diana and I stayed for one more night and we got to see the wax palms exclusive to el Valle de Cocora. The palm is Colombia’s national tree and the highest palm in the world.