Wednesday 14 August 2019.
Highlights: Long countryside private bus ride, a quiet beer in Medellín
Today was a repositioning day to get from Salento to Medellín. That meant leaving our hotel in Salento at 7 am and attempting to get to Medellín before peak hour traffic.
The one positive of long bus rides is you get to see some of the countryside that you would miss catching a plane. As our tour group was greater than 10 (we have 13 tour members) that meant we had a private bus instead of public which gave us greater control on the trip.
This journey was broken into 3 sections. The first section was very winding road up and down the mountains. Our second section was mostly flat with a temperature increase. We stopped of at Aguadas a small town that happened to have a Subway making for an easy lunch. The last section was very up hill.
The bus had to turn off the air conditioning as it needed more power for these climbs meaning it was a lot warmer in our bus (but still fine).
We managed to get to Medellín around just before 3 pm slightly beating our expected drive time of eight hours. We are staying at Hotel Florencio Plaza in one of the nicest parts of Medellín.
Medellín is located in the Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America with an estimated population of 2.5 million. Medellín was once known as the most dangerous city in the world and was in the grip of violence first caused by the occupation from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC) and later drug wars led by the infamous Pablo Escobar. This is still fairly recent history but times have changed over the past 10 years.
After setting into our very nice hotel Miguel lead as on an informal walk of the nearby areas for example best restaurants, ATMs, Supermarkets, and public parks.
After our long day the majority of us settled down for alcoholic beverage. For me it was local (small 175 ml) beer called Costenita (which was very nice).
Tomorrow we explore this formerly violent city.