675 steps closer to the sky

27. October 2018

After a short night we met up with Michelle from our class to board the bus for our Guatape tour. We first thought about going there on our own, but then we decided for the lazy option. And despite the large size of the group it was a really good tour.

Our first stop was in Marinilla. Not a lot of tours stop there as it is a normal Colombian town. But that was exactly what our guides wanted to show us. There we learned that most inhabitants work, go to church and meet up in the park for a coffee, a chat or a drink afterwards. That is all they do, every day. It is a simple life but for sure not the worst life.

Later on our trip we passed a village that had been moved by several hundred meters. The village used to be at the place where today the water reservoir of the power plant is. But when the government offered to buy their houses, the villagers refused the money and requested a new village instead. After agreeing on the deal and the break down of all the buildings, the artificial lake was created and it turned out to be the most beautiful lake we have ever seen. We weren’t surprised when we saw a lot of beautiful villas at the border of this lake. The fact that the lake is only a 2h drive from Medellin and that it is warmer and rains less than in the city probably helped as well.

And there is another attraction, a monolith, 220m in height and shaped like an egg. He stands there completely on his own and after climbing his 675 steps we enjoyed a marvelous round view over the lake and its surrounding.

But our main attraction that day wasn’t the rock but the picturesque town of Guatape. This town always had been beautiful, as its inhabitants harvest the tradition of designing Zocalos. Those are hip high wooden decorations at their houses. But when the lake was created and a stairway to the top of the monolith built, they decided to move away from farming and into the tourism business. They made even more beautiful Zocalos, painted their houses and hang up plant pots to create one of the most beautiful towns ever seen.

It had already been an intense day but after returning to Medellin we met up with Stephan, a former work colleague of Michèl, Michelle and Adrian and started the biggest party night we have had so far on our trip.


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