Monday 11 March 2024

Chilling in the garden

Jardin is a beautiful, traditional Colombian town full of colour and, after a long string of one-night stays, we decided to just park the car and slow down. Our hostel was made up of lots of little rooms coloured very traditionally, with a huge balcony overlooking the lush green valley. You could almost see an Encanto act in the streets and everyone we met was smiley and friendly!

When we had arrived and settled in, we rushed to the local teleferic to ride across the deep, forested canyon and wander around the town. All of that, accompanied with a local, handmade fruity ice-lolly that you deep in a bit of lemon juice. Yes you read that correctly! Ice-lolly and lemon juice...why not? South America will never stop to amaze me with all the different ways you can have ice creams! 

The town was very lively and we sat at the square watching all the people go by, music was booming out of the bars and restaurants, and loads of people walking about, being with friends and family. It brought up memories of summers in Greece. Needless to say, Ioanna was in heaven! 

The next morning, Dan and I went for an early morning run up the hill further up past Jardin and it felt really fun. But before we had gotten out of town we saw a Museum of Circles. Its wall was made of tyres of bikes and other round things, and, inside, there were circular fountains and more round things!

We also visited the rock garden in town, and no, it wasn't a garden of rocks. It was a garden where you could see the Andean cock-of the-rock birds. The reason there are so many cock-of-the-rocks there is because there is a lek in this area. Don't worry, I didn't know this at first either but apparently a lek is a place where the males compete for the females. Unfortunately, the females only come in the morning so we only saw males but their bright reds were amazing. I have to say though that they make the most horrendous (and silly) sound! I wouldn't be attracted to them if I was a female...that's for sure.

The next day, we went for a long 12km hike. We took a tuk-tuk to the start of the walk and from inside it sounded like an aeroplane was taking off. Noisy but I have to say these tuk-tuks are such strong machines, they can go everywhere! The scenery into the valley was great and the first part of the hike was relatively easy. In about 4kms, we reached the Cave of Splendour. We descended fast off the track and when we reached the cave, a wonderous sight met our eyes: falling into the cave was a waterfall. It was like Ben Gunn's cave in the Treasure Island book. The water was freezing and Ismene and I only got in up to our knees. 

After that we started on a simple path moving along to a pass in the big hill behind. We moved quickly and only slowed down once, when our path was blocked by cows, and had to take a detour. As we neared the pass, we saw a sight that we didn't enjoy, where the path used to be, someone had taken a tractor  and made a road (or a scar) in the middle of the hill. Luckily, it was only a short walk to the town from there, Dan and Ioanna thought we deserved a treat, and decided to take us to a café with ice cream that apparently was rated by some as the best in Colombia. That is obviously quite a strong claim so Ismene and I decided to test it out. We had an amazing French crepe lathered in chocolate sauce with a delicious forest-fruits ice cream on the side. All I can say is that the café gets 5 stars from us as well!

1 comment:

  1. Your trip just gets better and better. Marvellous. Your aunt Ioni would put you and Ismene to shame, I watched her swim on Christmas eve in the river as the sea was too wild. I don't know how she did it! I was freezing just watching her! Loving your blogs so much. Keep 'em rolling. xxxx