January 29, 2008
Today I tried to get to a colonial town called Santa Fe de Antioquia, but things didn't quite work out as planned. I got on one of the frequent buses out of Medellin without any trouble, but I didn't realize that the main road only skirted the edge of Santa Fe, as opposed to going directly through the center, like it would in most towns. Consequently, I didn't realize it when we made it to the town, and the bus quickly continued snaking its way around the mountains. An hour after we had already passed Santa Fe, the bus assistant saw me and realized that I should have gotten off already. He apologized for the error and had the driver drop me off at the next town.
I found a bus going the other direction right away; everyone was having lunch at an eatery. I explained my ordeal to the driver, a jolly old man who made it his cause to practice his three-word English vocabulary with me for the next half hour while we ate. He must have felt bad for me missing my stop because when we left the eatery, he immediately began driving like a maniac around the windy roads, throwing everyone to and fro. Soon the young assistant stumbled his way back and forth along the aisle like a drunken sailor, handing out plastic bags along the way. Roughly half the bus began vomiting at that point, while the assistant had a laugh with the jumble of teenagers strewn about the back seat.
The fun ended when the assistant failed to give a bag to one of the small children on the bus. His semi-digested chicken and rice got tossed all over the place because the bus was still swerving so violently, and the driver finally stopped the bus when he smelled the acid and saw the green hue on everyone's faces. He ordered the assistant to clean everything and went outside to smoke a cigarette. Rather than apologize for his sadistic driving, he pointed out the landscape and encouraged me to take a picture of it. We stood on the side of the road for half an hour while the assistant scrubbed the bus down.
The driver was slightly more chilled out when we finally got going again, but as a result of the day's snafus, I didn't get to Santa Fe until sunset. It looked like a nice enough place, but all I had time to do was sit around the plaza for awhile and catch another bus back to Medellin. Sometimes I feel like I'd be better off staying in bed all day.
The photo album for this entry is here.