Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salento - San Agustin, Colombia Part 3

Jenn and I arrived in Salento on the 13th at night.Salento is quite small, it felt nice getting out of the big town like Medellin where I came from.  We stopped at the plantation house and the hostel/coffee plantation was full, but we saw Marcus's bike. The plantation is having guided tour of the place at 2pm so we'll be stopping by the next day. We go out for some Mojitos in town while it was half off. After a few we endend bumping into Marcus and Bjorn from the boat from Panama.

Thanks to Marcus for having a camera and sharing your pictures.
I think I'm calling the tab or another beer on this one. 
The next morning went down little country side roads to a place where you find the tallest palms of the whole world, apparently.
I can't tell for sure they are the tallest palms ever, but they're the tallest I've seen so far! 

We went back in town and stopped by a little coffee place. The owner is been using this old machine for ages, it's from 1905 and was quite a process to use. Turning a knob, then another one, opening valves, lifting handles and slipping swithes. I should have taken a video of him using it.

Then time to see the coffee "Plantation House".  
The plantation itself is actually down this road only accessible by foot. 
Here it is:

This guy and his partner own the plantation, from UK. He liked to talk about the plantation, coffee and his project.
The plantation also has a waterfall, banana plants, pineapple plants, berries, bamboo forest etc.  

Where they dry the coffee  beams to the sun.  
The slidding roof was also used to dry coffee beans.
2 different blends. 
After showing us a bit around the plantation we sat down to the table for an expose about coffee, how it's produced, how it works in Colombia, etc. I've learn many things. Colombian coffee is my favorite. It was interesting to learn about how the coffee is produced and also the politics involved.
 At night we went out in town to the square and the street where everybody is. 

Back to the same Mojoto place for half off Mijotos.  

The next day, January 15th, I said goodbye to Jenn and headed to San Agustin. A very long day since I have a long distance to cover tru twisty mountains roads, and not every road is paved...

In Colombia there are many toll road, but it's free for motorcyclist. You just sneek on the tiny right lane and skip the payment, I love it. 
I think this is in Popayan, just stopped for few pictures and decided to keep going. 

So yeah, not always a paved road, but it's no big deal on my bike. 

And arrived in San Agustin a little tired just before it gets dark. 
I had to find a place I wanted to stay; The Casa Nelly. I've heard of it from other travellers so I wanted to go. It wasn't easy to find, it was up a hill tru a very narrow dirt road off the centro area. I had to ask many locals to get there but I've found it. A very nice place, pictures will be below. Julio from the hostel showed me my room, I dropped some luggage off and went in town at Super Pollo (Super Chicken) for some food. $2 gives you a soup, a main meal (chicken or beef) with salad, rice and beans, and you also have a juice. Good value isn't?

Back at the hostel I've met with Jessica, she's from Manizales if I remember correctly, but now lives in San Agustin. She wanted to go for a ride with me on my bike the next and show me around, so she did! We started at the Archaeological Park, a UNESCO world heritage site where you find very old stone scuptures.

Here is a doctor and a women giving birth, you can see he's holding a baby.

You can see old carving under this covered area.

Jessica and I stopped for some sugar can drink.
Jessica, here she is!
After we went at the river.
My new friend Jessica from Colombia.

And then on top of a hill with a nice view of a canyon.

Casa Nelly is so quiet and relaxing, I spent more time than I originally planned just relaxing and feeding myself for cheap at Super Chicken.

I met Markus at the hostel before I left, he's everywhere! The next 3 pictures are from him. He also changed tires in Medellin and wanted to carry the old one as spares. I did carry spare tires from Calgary to San Diego and I hated it. I had fun fun teasing him about how much of a pain it is to do and he's not going to do it for long, which of course I was right :)
Marcus and I went I town for food and I think he was fascinated by how much i can eat. I had some street food after a big filling plate at super chicken. 

Some pictures of the hostel:

I was a little sad to go, I feel I could easily have spent another week there just chilling out.

I left the hostel January 19th to go to Pasto before entering Ecuador. The road from San Agustin to Mocoa was overall good, but from Mocoa to Pasto it was something. Imagine a twisty dirt road only wide enough for one vehicule going tru mountains. It's a 12hrs bus trip, much faster on a bike.

Many small creeks crossing:

Some clouds, you could hardly see anything.

You can see how narrow the road is. It happened a few time a truck would come so close to me I would need to honk so I don't get hit by the rear of the truck.

But again, very nice Colombian scenery that I will miss.

I've successfuly made it to Pasto then to the Ecuador border, my next post.

Overall I really loved Colombia, the scenery is just amazing, the people are very friendly and it's not too expensive. I think being able to spend most of my time in the country along with friends gave me a much better experience of the country. It's also safe, you see many army officers on the roads, in town, everywhere, a bit like Mexico.  I'd love to come back and spend more time here. Maybe I will!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Simon, we're from 100% Colombian Coffee and linked this post in our facebook to show the people what's going on about the coffee process. Thank's for commin' to Colombia and enjoy our country. This is the link where we linked u.