The inocentes, now with more Antioquian pueblo experience!

14 Nov

Friday night we were bumming around, not doing much when the call came.

We had been restless all week, falling into a pattern and wishing that we could break out of it. Then, Eva called to remind us that we had agreed to go on a little journey to the southern part of the state. Perfect timing!

We left mid-morning on Saturday and enjoyed an absolutely stunning ride to the southern part of the state, through more farmland than you could shake a stick at (if you are inclined to shake sticks). After three or so hours, we rolled into a gray and rainy Jardín. The first thing that struck us was the huge cathedral overlooking the town square. This was a departure from Santa Fe de Antioquia, which was warmer and more sleepy, without a structure of this magnitude centering the town.

The square was filled with people chatting and drinking coffee. The best part was that nearly every man was dressed in the stereotypical paisa fashion, with a poncho, hat and a carry-all slung over their shoulders. The next day, when the sun was out for a bit longer, the ponchos were draped over their shoulders, laying at the ready for a cold breeze.

We arrived on the perfect night, when trios from across the country were competing against one another, singing traditional country songs. I’m still fuzzy on the rules (there were a number of “trios” with four or five people) and not all of them sang, but the music was lovely. The crowd was lively, and after a few bottles of rum, we were all singing along (even us! and we don’t even know the words!).

The next morning we took a trip up to a lookout point above the city and enjoyed the view from our vantage. A short ride in a cable car took us up above the coffee and banana plants to the lookout, where we planned our next move.

Mid-afternoon, we left Jardín for Jérico after stopping by Jardín’s sweet shop (seriously, 8 different kinds of arequipe. Are you kidding me?!). The roads were quite torn up with holes and portions that had sunk below the road; rocks and dirt lined many parts of the road, the earth still red and fresh from a slide. We wound our way up a mountain to Jérico, the temperature dropping slightly and the threat of rain set at “imminent”.

We were faced with the task of finding the town square/cathedral, but got lost in the maze of one-way streets. Finally, a little boy ran up to the car. “Are you looking for the square?” “…Yes” “Follow me!” and he raced down the street and around the corner. When we caught up, he waved us into a parking space right next to the cathedral. We were set.

The afternoon was spent walking around and shopping, admiring the leather goods that the town sells (if anyone needs a saddle, let me know!). When it began to rain, we found ourselves neatly tucked upstairs in a restaurant overlooking the square, digging into a late afternoon linner.

At 6, Greg and I hopped on a bus back to Medellín, which dropped us near our home at 8:45. While the pueblos were charming towns and we didn’t do much but shop, I was out like a light as soon as we walked through the door. Relaxing is hard!

One thing that stuck out about both towns were the colors. Medellín has its homes and neighborhoods where there is more color, but the houses in both Jardín and Jérico were a lovely departure. Half white-washed homes with a band of bright red or blue around the bottom and large, wooden shutters painted any number of complementary hues were plentiful. And somehow, the combinations never looked anything worse than charming.

Ah, to be so bold with color! OK, back to reality (after eating this jar of arequipe flavored with coffee).

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