As promised in the previous blog, I will leave this one short and sweet.
After a week spent in the ¨hustle and bustle¨ of Colombian major cities, our travels took us to the quiet coffee region of Colombia, known as La Zona Cafetera (NOT La Zona Cafeteria -- which includes an extra ¨î¨and translates to ¨The Coffee SHOP Region¨ -- Oh the hilarity). With 3 days to spend in and around the tiny town of Salento, my semi-sarcastic words can do no justice in comparison to the photos below. Nevertheless, I leave with you a brief summary of our time spent in this amazingly scenic area.
Coffee Tour & Tasting - At the age of 29 years old, I have lasted almost 3 decades of my life without having ever consumed a single cup of coffee (I like to think I'm special, others may argue differently). The flavor, the smell, and the overall inability of caffeine-addicts to function at a pace faster than a two-toed sloth without their morning "cup of Joe" had previously put me off from this oh-so-popular drink. However, after our bus to Salento passed by about 3,500 Juan Valdez´s, all riding donkeys with sacks of coffee on their backs, I was forced to succumb to temptation as well as curiosity. Thus, after a $4, 2-hour-too-long coffee tour that took a small simple bean and turned it into the most complex organism in the planet (my attention span died after the 45 minute lecture detailing the 283-step process for producing coffee), I was ready for my first-ever cup of freshly-brewed, Colombian-grown coffee. The verdict:
Overall, while everyone in the tour raved at the flavor and taste of our Colombian-grown coffee (even despite it´s luke-warm temperature and lack of milk), I was not a fan. I guess it´s back to whiskey/cokes for my morning ¨kick¨! Just kidding Mom... or am I...
Tejo - A traditional sport in Colombia, Tejo is very similar to Cornhole (or bean bag toss), although it encompasses a bit of a Colombian twist to make things ¨interesting.¨ Instead of throwing bean bags at a wooden board, Tejo involves tossing small metal discs (weighing anywhere from 2-4lbs) at a clay pit 10 feet (beginners) to 60 feet (experts) away. The ¨interesting¨ aspect that the Colombians use to spice up the game, is to put 2-4 small paper triangles around the target at which the thrower aims, filled with gunpowder. Yes, gunpowder. To add to the fact, Tejo can only be played while consuming vast quantities of alcoholic beverages. Thus, the goal of the game is essentially to get drunk, and then throw metal discs at explosive objects. Obviously after hearing of this game, I wanted to partake in it immediately. Thus, our group sought out a tiny bar in Salento whereby we entertained the locals with our gringo-esque style of playing Tejo (Gringo-esque Style = Launching the disc far above the clay pit, into what is now a new $20 light fixture). I would like to add that while I did not destroy any light fixtures, I did successfully manage to score the highest amount possible (6 points) by exploding 2 triangles at once. Yeah, I´m kinda a big deal.
Cocora Valley - Words no good. Photos much better.
Next Stop: Ecuador - The land of tiny people and not-so-tiny mountains
Onto the pics: