After turning the salsa world on its head in Cali we danced up to the Zona Cafetera to get buzzed up on some fine Colombian coffee. Unfortunately the coffee plantation we stayed at for the evening ran out of coffee and the owner needed to leave town the next day so wasn´t able to provide us wth a tour of his farm! I mean are you serious? Geeze. But we were able to get him to give us a quick tutorial on coffee and learned about the different types of beans and the process they use to harvest them.
The highlight of our time in the region is when we went to visit the Valle de Cocora. The guidebook describes it like a lush version of Switzerland and I´d add it has a bit of the airy mysteriousness of Machu Picchu mixed in as well (see below).
One of the main reasons to visit this area is to see the Palma de Cera, these really tall palm trees which don´t grow outside the area.
We went on a four hour hike which led us into a cloud forest with rolling clouds touching the mountain tops. We stopped at a hummingbird reserve along the way where seven different types of hummingbirds buzzed about. We were served hot chocolate with a block of cheese to dip into it. A bit strange and oddly kinda nice.
After about 3 hours we reached this view:
After another thirty minutes or so we reached the bottom of the valley and were rewarded again with stunning views of the wax palm trees.
Everyone else took the easy way and hired horses while Gemma and I walked. We are enjoying hiking these days and seem to be pretty good at it. We actually kept up with the horses the entire way despite some serious uphill climbs and river crossings.
Next stop Bogota.