When we woke up today, David asked how I would feel about going on the bus trip to Guatapé by myself. Given my reluctance, he walked to the bus stop with me, but soon thereafter got off the bus for the comfort of the bathroom. I of course knew no one else and the tour was in Spanish. But by the first stop for breakfast, I realized I wasn't the only one traveling alone. I struck up an immediate friendship with a guy from New Jersey, a woman from the Dominican Republic, and a man from France. During the course of the day, I found myself listening to or speaking English, Spanish, French, and German. It was a very international bus with a perky guide from Medellin named Angie (don't know the Spanish spelling of her name). I loved it when she called us "chicos", as in "¡Vamonos, chicos!"
Our next stop after breakfast was at the beautiful little town of Marinilla with the white church above. Among the various venders in the square was this guy seeking the equivalent of Colombian snake oil.
Then we visited El Peñol, a rather recently bilt town with a most unique church, which instead of dwelling on Christ crucified emphasizes Christ resurrected.
Finally we arrived at La Piedra, a huge rock which requires 750 stops to get to the top. I opted to send my camera up with one of my travel companions while I drank mango juice with another friend. The views from up above were obviously spectacular.
We then continued on the town of Guatapé for lunch. We were serenaded by these musicians while we ate lunch -- our choice of "comida tipica", fried trout, or grilled chicken.
The charm of Guatapé is the colorful decorations called socalos on the outside of every building. They can depict a business or a personal symbol. The artist of many of the socalos is Nachos, shown below.
Here is Angie, our exuberant guide. This socola is for a kindergarten.
And to end my day in Guatapé, a delicious cappuccino.
Around 7:30 PM we rolled into Medellin once again, thinking about what our personal socalo might be if we were to decorate our houses.
After some long-distance consultation with our doctor friend Deb, David was much improved over his condition in the morning when I left him with such a bad stomach.