As we have had the luck of having three weeks of school holidays before we even started work we decided to make the most of the time and took a trip to the coffee region. A luxurious coach journey, (with a film and wi-fi!) and we arrived in Armenia just under four hours later. We found our hostel and were greeted by the loveliest girl who seemed determined to ensure we had the best stay possible. She made us the nicest coffees (yep, that’s right, I’m slowly being converted to a coffee drinker, although only accepting the better quality stuff with sugar and milk!) and gave the place a warm feeling, full of positive energy.
Our friend we had met during training in Bogota, Tom, is living in the city and so we met up with him. He introduced us to the glory of the Cuban sandwich and joined us in exploring the city. It was great to see another city and be able to compare it to Cali. Without a doubt it is less than half the size of Cali, with a completely different feel and atmosphere. A pedestrianised main street meanders from the north to the south, full of shops and people bussling about their daily business. Like in Cali, there were naturally parts that completely juxtaposed these lovely streets, sometimes only a stone’s throw away. We took a taxi to a mirador that gaves us a spectacular view of valleys and jungle that surrounded the city, proving the green beauty that exists in this country and stands as a direct contrast to the built up cities. We were also fortunate enough to stumble upon the Parque de los Fundadores. Its small entry fee well worth it as we followed the narrow path that weaved its way around the small hills, lake and waterfall. A little oasis of calm and beauty that felt far from the city.
We headed to container city for dinner, where lots of restaurants built into large containers sold a variety of food from sushi to burgers. We sat in the communal dining area, eating our different food before heading to a bar for some beers. It felt like we had seen lots of what the city had to offer despite our short visit and we woke after a fantastic night’s sleep excited about the day that was to come as we made our way to Salento.