And here we go to the next Colombian stop. The town in Salento, located at the famous coffee region of Colombia.
Unfortunately, there was a storm happening and the plane deviated 20 minutes before landing. We ended landing in Bogota!!! but after a couple hours waiting at the terminal, we were in the air again and this time we actually landed in Salento!!
Our hotel was really nice!
Because we arrived late already, we just went straight to eat at a really fancy place. The food was amaziiing, we shared some filet mignon, some pasta, and a fresh salad.
The next day we hiked the Cocara Valley, but this deserved a post on its own. So will skip this part and will continue with what happened after the hike!!
We went to a tapas bar for some appetizers and wine after a very fun hospital visit. Sarita got injured during the hike (see next post), so that is why she had an ice bag on her chest!!
We had some free time to walk around this beautiful and colorful town. The town’s biggest attraction is its traditional bahareque architecture: a collection of one- and two-story buildings, mostly white but with doors and window frames adorned in brightly painted colors.”
For this reason it has retained more of its traditional colonial architecture than almost any other town in the eje cafetero, along with a quiet and relaxed way of life, and as a result the town and nearby Cocora valley are among the most popular tourist destinations in Colombia.
But don’t be fooled, not all the city looks like this. Just the city center has a few blocks that are this colorful. The rest of the city is still beautiful.
We found a place to play the local game of Tejo. Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, we just had to come here and play.
Tejo incorporates beer and gunpowder in a sport where any alcohol-related lapse of concentration is met with explosions which bring focus back to the task at hand.
Players hurl tejos (weighted steel discs) towards a bocin (metal ring) that is rigged with gunpowder-stuffed mechas, ready to explode upon impact. Undoubtedly a more lively version of bowling.
While a lack of oral, written and archeological evidence has made refining a single theory of tejo’s inception impossible, this has not deterred people from attempting to find out about its origins. Modern tejo is based on a game that was developed in Turmequé, Boyaca, Colombia more than 450 years ago.
We had a blast playing and would recommend everybody to go check it out!
For dinner, we had another amazing fancy feast. This was one of the best meals we had in Colombia!
The next morning Erin and Jenna Maria stayed at the town while Sarah and Eitan went to visit a coffee farm 30 min away. The visit takes you through the whole process of making coffee.
Colombia is famous for its coffee production and exportation, although climate change has actually caused coffee production to decline in the region since the early 2000’s. Colombia is still the third-largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil and Vietnam. Colombia’s “coffee cultural landscape” was actually named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011!
They give you a basket and we had to find the reddest beans we could find, which means they are ripe! Our guide explained the differences in trees and varieties.
Finding the red beans was not an easy task!
Then we processed our beans through the peeler machine. This amazing simple machine removes the peel and leaves the beans intact. A process that would take hours if made by hand,
The drying and roasting happen next. But we were just able to see beans already drying as we did not stay here waiting for weeks.
In the end, we tried what they say it is the fanciest Colombia coffee, which is called Peaberry. Colombian Peaberry Coffee has the selections of the rarest coffee beans in the crop, usually one bean per fruit, where it is normal for each fruit to have 2 beans.
Unfortunately, we did not think the coffee was that good. And in general, we didn’t find Colombian coffee to live up to its reputation.
A group photo from some nice couple from the Germany!
When we came back to the town, we still had a couple of hours to explore before we needed to go to the airport, We decided to hike up the stairs at the street to see the view of the town.
The little hike was really easy.
Each flight of stairs is painted in a different color pattern that matches the town.
The view from the top was really nice. They also have a little church there
We met our friends for a quick lunch before taking an hour ride to the airport. Next stop is Bogota!
Bonus Pic Of The Day: Here are the Tejo game rules! Now you can set up your own explosive game at home!!