After a month of taco (Medellin traffic), Jardín was calling.
Our day started with an arduous cab ride with a soon-to-be-retired driver. Then, I hopped a shortbus with Michelle, Vicki and Corine. Three hours of ear-popping twists and turns later, we were deposited in this beautiful pueblo in the mountains 80 miles south-west of Medellin. Three hours for 80 miles? Yes, the circuitous route around, over and through the mountains isn’t swift.
Jardín is a lovely little town of twelve thousand residents, 6,000 horses and a million motorcycles. Like Medellin, it’s a mile high. But, it’s surrounded by lush jungle instead of concrete jungle so the weather is cooler. Perfect.
The pueblo has a sweet centro square (unfortunately under construction) with the imposing Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion. The ceiling is stunning! When I dropped by on a Tuesday afternoon, a group of 60+ women were saying their rosaries together.
Our first adventure was across a 150′ deep gorge in … La Garrucha.
FYI, from Wikipedia: La garrucha was one of the three torture procedures most used by the Spanish Inquisition … The torment of the garrucha consisted in hanging the prisoner from the ceiling with a pulley by means of a rope tied to the wrists and with weights tied to the ankles, to hoist it slowly and to release suddenly.
This one is basically a cart for transporting cattle suspended by two cables—three looooong minutes, $1.25 pp.
On the other side of the gorge, there is a lovely mirador and a path back to town.
After our trek, we were starving and stopped at Pastelatte Gourmet for lunch! Rico!
The pueblo is full of colorfully painted houses and friendly folks!
For dinner we hit one of Michelle’s favorites: Café Europa for outstanding pizza and some french horn jazz!
At the soccer field, these girls made me laugh. We talked for a bit in Spanish and then they wanted me to translate a few English words for them. The first word was … pussy! Lord help me.
My favorite little lunch spot was Realismo Magico—excellent food, friendly staff and delightful decor. Thanks Alejandra!
On my last day, I visited Parque Natural Jardín de Rocas, where a dozen Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) males were squabbling. If you go, load up on bug spray!
It was an incredibly relaxing five-day stay in room #5 at Hotel Kantarrana Urban Jardin—comfortable bed, refreshing shower and healthy breakfast. Orange door = bonus!
Just a few more photos before I go …
Next? Back to Medellin for more Spanish!