January 26, 2008
I decided to get out of the city for the day and took a trip to the hills surrounding Medellin. After a short uphill bus ride, I was out of the city and in another world. My first stop was El Peñól, a massive 200-meter high rock sitting on top of a high hill. The Colombian genius engineers had built a staircase all the way to the top of the rock in a small crevasse on the side. I huffed and puffed my way up the stairs, constantly minding the broken guardrails, low-hanging overhead rocks, and crumbling steps. At the top of the rock was a three-story building with an amazing panoramic view. I could see the entire chain of lakes created by the dam that supplied power to Medellin, as well as the mandatory resorts and rich peoples' houses that came with such a beautiful place.
Next I took a shuttle to the nearby town of Guatapé. People were offering pontoon cruises around the lakes, there was a zip line at the edge of the main lake, the buildings and churches were prettily painted, and there were plenty of people from Medellin getting caught up in the hullabaloo. The little town, the lakes, and the forests that covered up most of the rest of the land in the region reminded me of Minocqua, WI. It was kind of a strange remembrance considering that Guatapé was thirty-five degrees closer to the equator than Minocqua.
The photo album for this entry is here.