El Mocambo has a shuttle service to bring you in to Salento at 8:00am, so we were up at 6:00am yesterday morning in order to get packed up and have breakfast before we left.
We're going to be coming back to that area on Monday though because we have yet to do the hike to the wax palms. That's why we went there to begin with, and then Ruth got that kidney infection. Good thing it's fairly close.
Alfredo, the caretaker at El Mocambo, dropped us off at the bus station in Salento. There's no direct route to Filandia, even though it's only 10 kms away as the crow flies. You have to either get a bus to Armenia or Pereira and then switch. But we learned that the best way is to get on a bus to Armenia, ask the driver to let you off at Los Flores, and then cross the street and wait for a bus going from Armenia to Filandia.
So that's what we did. Only had to wait about five minutes and we got on a bus heading for Armenia. The guy selling tickets asked where we were from, and we had a little conversation. He was pretty loud and he spoke rapidly and we couldn't understand some of what he said. Then he said something else and the entire bus broke out in laughter. Sure wish we knew what everybody was laughing about!
The guy I was sitting beside let us know when to get off at Los Flores. It's called that because there's a flower shop right there. We crossed the fairly busy road to the shop, and asked the girl outside about the bus to Filandia. She said we were in the right place and sure enough we only had to wait about five minutes. Cost was a total of 5,400 pesos ($2.65 CAD) each for the two bus rides.
Another twenty minutes or so and we were in Filandia. We were dropped at the fairly busy central plaza and now had to find our way to Bidea Hostel where we had reservations for the next three nights.
I had saved the location of the hostel in the maps.me app in the iPhone so we went to a nearby cafe with our bags and sat down and had a traditional hot chocolate and pan de bono...a type of bread made with corn flour. Checked the map and GPS and figured where we had to go.
It was only two and a half blocks from the central plaza. We were early for check in, but the young, friendly owner Camilo said that our room was ready so it was no problem.
We relaxed for the morning, then went for lunch at a nearby restaurant that Camilo recommended. I had ordered the chicken filete with rice and a salad, and Ruth ordered a bowl of chicken vegetable soup. The soup arrived, and they brought me a bowl too. I assumed maybe it came with my meal. But then they brought the meal, and they brought one for Ruth too! We are pretty good at ordering in Spanish, so I don't think it was a language problem...they simply made a mistake.
Ruth turned down the meal and they took it away without a problem. The bowl of soup was a meal in itself anyhow. I was stuffed! I had a beer with mine, but Ruth had water that we had brought with us. They never gave us a bill, you simply went up to the counter to pay. I handed a 20,000 peso note over, and they gave me back 7,500 in change. The entire thing was only 12,500 pesos? That's $6.10 CAD. I think they made a mistake somewhere.
Then, we went for a walk around town.
With lots of color.
We saw this little shop with baskets for sale.
Filandia is known as a place where they still make the baskets that were used in the past for collecting coffee beans. Several people still manufacture these hand made baskets the traditional way, but now they are sold for decorative purposes.
This is Juan Freddie.
It only takes him about two hours to make a basket. He only opened his shop about two weeks ago and has yet to put a sign out front yet. But he's located on Calle 7, a couple of blocks from the plaza to the left of the main church if you're facing it.
Juan Freddie's basket shop.
The square in the main plaza is under construction for a two month long renovation project so it's all blocked off by green construction fencing. Shame, so it's not quite so good for pictures.
The church is beautiful. I'm going to go back with the good camera to get a pic of the interior for you.
They had an art sale or display of some kind going on outside the cultural center.
They rent these little jeeps out for kids to drive, and then the guy simply pushes it around the square. the kid thinks he's driving and steering, but the guy at the back actually has a steering wheel back there. Never seen anything like it. Too funny.
The Bidea Hostel where we are staying.
Having a great time here in Colombia so far, and the temperatures are perfect. But it sure would be nice to see some blue sky and sunshine! Oh well..at least its not raining.
Not sure what's on the agenda for today, but they have a mirador (overlook) here as well so maybe we'll make it up there, and find somewhere else to walk. Have a great Sunday!
Today only, at Amazon.com... Rubbermaid Glass Food Storage Set, 22-piece
And at Amazon.ca, here's a gift for someone who already has everything else...