Monday, 19 August 2013

Medellin

Our journey to Medellin was a rather frosty affair, in more ways than one. Not only was the air con on full blast but the conductor took an immediate dislike to us and started to shout at us for not speaking Spanish in his country. Luckily, Bex can speak Spanish and kindly translated the insults he was hurling at us. Finally we disembarked from the freezer and lovely John, the Turbo hostel owner, made sure we got in a taxi with a nice lady who wouldn’t rip us off.


We decided to explore the Old Town of Medellin. It was a rather odd day; one minute we were surrounded by nuns and the next prozzies. There was a square filled with statues by the famous artist, Fernando Botero, which gave us quite a chuckle.

Fat ladies..

In search of something other than fried chicken, rice and plantain, we opted for a highly recommended Thai restaurant. We had been told to get there early as it gets busy quickly, so Imy only had time to wax the one leg (4 weeks later and the other one is yet to be done). We all ordered pretty well, with the exception of Bex, who for some reason ordered chicken fried rice. Her food envy was too much to handle and she ended up ordering a whole other meal, much to the confusion of our poor waitress. After dinner, Bex and Kat accompanied some of the other hostel-stayers on a night out, only to find that Medellin on a Tuesday is a rather quiet affair. We managed to find a salsa bar open and some locals showed us how it was done. All too soon though, it was closing time and we headed back.

Good choice Bex

The new day brought with it a delivery of biffs! Chloe, Anne-Marie, Becca and Anna had arrived in Medellin! Unfortunately, we hadn’t been expecting them quite so soon and had organized a day of sightseeing with some mates from the hostel. We made our way to a massive cable car that goes up and over part of Medellin, finishing in a National Park. It gave us a brilliant view over Medellin and some treetops.

Medellin

Sunny delight

We were in a bit of a hurry to come back down, as we had also arranged to meet up with Bex VB’s sister’s boyfriend’s aunty, Adriana. We made our way to the meeting place, worried we would be late. It turns out that we didn’t have anything to worry about as Adriana told us she was running twenty minutes late. Four hours later, the incredibly glamorous Adriana rocked up. She was an absolute legend and introduced us to some of the most amazing food we have ever eaten (chicharron). Five courses later, and unable to ingest any more food, we found ourselves at her ex’s apartment, looking over Medellin by night, nibbling on nuts. After a few beers we went to meet the rest of the family at her Grandma’s casa. They were all just as lovely as Adriana and showed us a completely different side to Medellin that we otherwise would have missed.

Stop one: Juice and snacks

Stop two: Chicharron

Auntie Adriana

Stop three: Bandeja Paisa

Stop four: Dessert

Stop five: Sweet pad

When we got back to the hostel Chloe, Anne, Becca and Anna had set up a wee party for the soon to be birthday girl, Kat, and had really splashed out on a fancy bottle of bubbly. We went to some small bar in what felt like a deserted park and enjoyed what was Bex and Livvy’s last night in Colombia.
Soon enough it was time to say our goodbyes yet again, as we sent Bex and Livvy on their way to the airport. As per usual, a few tears were shed before we manned up and got on with moving hostel. No more room at the inn as they say.

Party time

Biffs


Group shot - bye Bex and Liv (Thanks for the photo Becca Howard!)

We checked into a prison with a swimming pool, where we chilled out and caught some rays (the girls were in desperate need of some sun... they were so white that they were practically see through). The evening brought with it a football final and everyone in Medellin seemed to be out in the streets supporting their side. We sat in a park with a couple of cans, a big screen and fireworks exploding around our heads. Unfortunately the night before had taken its toll on us though, and we called it a night pretty early, leaving Medellin to party till the early hours. 

Three ghosts


Tinnies in the park

Big night Medellin

The next day it was time for Imy, Anne, Becca and Kat to get a glimpse of the life of Colombia's most notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar, while Chloe and Anna went on the cable car. The Pablo tour started with a trip to see one of his old offices/garages, which had been bombed and left in disrepair. This was followed by a trip to his rather modest grave, where he is surrounded by family members, many of whom were killed due to their connection to the Medellin Cartel. Finally it was time for the highlight of the day: meeting Pablo's brother, Roberto. We went to his house, which is actually more of a Pablo Escobar museum, and were introduced to his big bro. It was very weird being in the presence of someone so closely connected to the cartel and we learnt a lot about how they hid their money and their crimes.


Pablo's grave

Pablo through the ages

Biffs and Roberto Escobar

After the tour we met back up with Chloe and Anna, ate lots of pizza and played some cards. Then yet again Imy and Kat had a problem with their bus. One trip to the bus station, a confused call to the hostel owner and two hours later, everything was sorted and we were officially having to say yet more goodbyes. The girls had time for one last birthday treat for Kat though - a birthday cake complete with candles! Then we were on our way, with no more guests of honour to meet up with... Oh well, San Agustin here we come!

Birthday girl

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