The bikes had buyers, we’d partied hard in Bogota to celebrate making it and were now busy looking into cars and friends for Mexico, it felt like South America was finished. Except we still actually had 3 weeks to explore Colombia. But without the bikes we were totally at a loss for what to do, until Megan and Issy from uni organized a catch up in Medellin. The 17 hour bus ride was a doozy and made us appreciate the bikes so much more. The busses were as comfortable as they could be but at the end of the days it’s a lot of hours stuck on a bus……. Watching motorbikes zoom past.
Now being stuck travelling the tourist trail we fully embraced the lifestyle and made sure everyone knew we were there on vacay, socks and sandals being just the beginning. We were genuinely surprised at how fun exploring a city can be. We wandered through the botanical gardens before hitting up the science museum. It felt weird to really be tourists for the first time this year but I think we nailed the part. The science museum was highly interactive and actually super fun so we’d highly recommend going there if you’re ever in Medellin.
We woke up a little rough the next morning after a big night on the town but mustered up the energy to do a show stopping walking tour of Communa 13, the highlight of Medellin. Medellin has 16 Communa’s which are basically suburbs and back in 2000-2004 number 13 was the most dangerous neighborhood in the world. There were several murders a day and big clashes between the government, locals and paramilitaries over the drug trade. But in the ensuing years until today they have all but eradicated the violence and implemented many education and street art projects that have totally transformed the community. Its now a super vibrant, colorful and lively place which we unanimously agreed would be an awesome place to live. The locals are now proud to say they’re from Communa 13 and it has such a strong feeling of community compared to home. In the evenings everyone comes out into the squares and streets to catch up and hang out, homes are a place to sleep over here, not a place to live.
Having maxed out our dorkiness we headed back into the hills to explore the stunning lakes and rivers of Guatape and San Rafael. There we met an epic group of Kiwis whom we planned to meet and hike the Carribean coastline with later on. San Rafael was a beautiful place to end up because it was a vibrant city full of culture. There were no other foreigners around and I personally find places like this to be my favourite because you get to experience how the people actually live. The relaxed, happy life South Americans live continually impresses me and their communal vibe is something I feel we miss out on a lot back home.
Having ticked off the west we bussed it back to Bogota to hand over the last bike and come up with a plan for our last two weeks up North.
Scott will fill you in on that soon.