Sooo… Medellín. Didn’t think much of it to be honest but then again I didn’t stay here for long enough to give it a proper chance. It used to be the cocaine trafficking capital of the world. It ain’t that interesting anymore although you can do a Pablo Escobar tour where they take you around his hacienda, the place where he was finally hunted down and killed, and his grave, but only if you can spare at least one arm and most probably a leg. It’s a bit pricey. I wasn’t ready to start hocking my appendages on the black market so I settled for a trip up the Metrocable which is basically part of the Metro system the locals use to get around, with a cable car section which takes you into the “lower income barrios“.
Once you jump out at the end of Linea K, that’s when the tourist infrastructure kicks in, the signs are in English as well as Spanish and the ticket booth attendants don’t look as bored with their well practised smiles. You part with slightly more money than the tiny Metrocable prices to get further up to some kind of park area with walks and stuff that I was unaware of until I got there in my flip flops and without a jumper. Hmm. I looked towards the sky. Yep, the trademark tropical black storm clouds had started to move in. I warmed up with a coffee and made my way back down, fully intending to go back the next day. That bonfire was totally pissed on when I woke up to lashing rain first thing in the morning. Screw you then, Medallín. I didn’t want to walk round your stupid park anyway.
The one thing I did find that though was a heap of bronze statues near the Metro station in town based on the paintings of a famous artist called Fernando Botero who was born in Medellín. They’re fabulous and certainly make me feel a lot better about all the food I’d been cramming into my digestive system since I arrived on the continent. Just when you think you shouldn’t have eaten that last pie you’re treated to sculptures of beautiful, curvy women. Also a fat horse. And a cow. I think it’s a cow. There’s also a big head and a hand amongst other things.
And in other news, my latest addiction is a street food called, papas con carne which, as the name suggests, is potatoes and meat. Like a minced meat but it must have other stuffs in it to make it taste so good. Of course the whole thing is encased in batter and deep fried to a nuclear yellow colour, it wouldn’t be authentic Latin American cuisine if it didn’t contribute significantly to the eventual demise of your heart.
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Stayed at: Palm Tree Hostel