We went back to the room and packed things up. The bus to Salento was supposed to leave the terminal at 11:30am, and we wanted to be there early in case it fills up. Supposedly there's not another one until 4:30pm.
Flagged a taxi to take us to the bus terminal. It's so funny using the taxis here. As I've said, they are literally everywhere. I don't think we've ever had to wait more than 60 seconds. And cheap. From the hostel to the bus terminal was 4,200 pesos ($2.06 CAD), and no tip necessary or expected.
Ruth, waiting in the Pereira bus terminal.
Our tickets cost 6,200 pesos ($3.08 CAD) each for the 50 minute bus ride. We were early, as we wanted to be and we had an hour and a half to wait. By the time the bus was loading, there were quite a few other backpacker and white people tourists. In fact, there were very few locals on the bus. The town of Salento is very much on "the gringo trail".
We knew we had to get off the bus before the town itself. But I had put the co-ordinates in the mapping program on the iPhone and so we knew exactly when to ask the driver to stop. From there, it was a ten minute walk to the hostel along a dirt road.
Kevin, walking along the road to the hostel.
This is where our Heys travel bags with the backpack straps come in really handy. Usually we can use them with the wheels and the handle, but on rough terrain you simply unzip the straps and it becomes a backpack! Hard to believe we've had them three years now. They've served us well, but they're starting to show some signs of wear and tear. Might have to look for some new ones next year.
The sign says "Halfway to El Mocambo. Keep going".
We arrived at the beautiful farm. It's an old house and stables that has been renovated into a hostel. Jennifer greeted us and checked us into our room. Cost is 60,000 pesos (29.40 CAD) per night for the two of us. She also explained that there is a free ride into Salento at 8:00am each day, and returning at 7:00pm. And a nice kitchen where we can cook our own meals, or Skyler will prepare dinner for you for 15,000 pesos ($7.35 CAD) each.
The rooms are very small, but hey...we're used to living in a motorhome! Oh, and we have our own private bathroom here.
Ruth, outside our "window".
And inside our window!
It is a farm, so of course there are some farm cats...and kittens!
Looking up the hill towards town.
Everything is such a deep color of green.
We went for a walk down to the nearby river, but along the way we must have disturbed some kind of wasp nest. Tiny little wasps, not much bigger than a mosquito. Ruth got stung near her belly button and under her arm...very painful she said, and the sting site swelled up for a couple hours and then subsided to look like a mosquito bite. Fortunately, I didn't get stung since I'm the one who is allergic to bee and wasp stings. When we got back to the room, another of the little buggers flew out of my jacket and I managed to kill it. Hopefully we don't come across them too often!
We saw this parrot sitting on the fence and got all excited. They are found in the jungles near here, but we later learned that this one is a pet, belonging to the caretaker here at the property.
The back of the property.
We wanted to go for a walk and I had read that it was about a half an hour into the town of Salento using a path going up the hill. Jennifer confirmed the path up the hill, and off we went. (Edit: It is closer to an hour than a half hour using the path to Salento from the hostel. I've read in two different reports that it's a half hour, but it is not! Closer to an hour.)
El Mocambo Hostel.
Climbing up the steep hill was a tough go, especially where the path was obliterated by some trees they were cutting down. This isn't even the worst of it.
But, we made it to the top of the path and there was a road.
That dog is from the farm...he walked into town with us.
Only problem...when we made it into town, we noticed that it was starting to get dark. We had completely lost track of the time. It's difficult when it's cloudy almost all day long and so you don't see where the sun is. Anyhow, no excuses...a dumb mistake. As much as we try, we're not perfect! It turns out that it was already after 4:00pm when we left the farm. And it gets dark here around 5:30pm.
We walked quickly back to the path, but it was getting dark. The path was not easy to do in daylight, let alone in the dark. And when we got to the part with the fallen trees it was downright dangerous. We were very lucky we didn't injure ourselves worse than the small scrape I got on my calf.
Anyhow...never a dull moment around here! Not sure what's on the agenda for today. Ruth seems to have come down with some kind of bladder or kidney infection, so that usually entails a visit to a doctor to get some antibiotics. We'll see how the day goes along...
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