Our love affair with Colombia continues. I can honestly say that I haven’t felt this way about a country since Mexico. I am head over heels. Colombia has pools of love for us too, “pozos del amor”. These hot pools of love are part of the hot springs of San Vicente, recommended by our friends in Chinchina. Although open to the public, they haven’t been over developed and have retained much of their natural beauty. We spent a few hours soaking in the warm water, while the rain fell steadily and hummingbirds fluttered overhead. Amazing!
Pozos del Amor.
Exploring upstream, looking for hotspots.
At the main pool.
Two wrinkly prunes finally emerged from the water and we hit the road again. We didn’t make it far though, stopping often for snacks or to admire the views.
Chocolate con queso, so good. It would be a rare day that we don’t stop for this.
We arrived at Valle de Cocora after dark and in the pouring rain. The next morning we awoke to the sound of horses clip-clopping down the road. We stepped out of the van into a lush green valley shrouded in mist. Majestic, lithe palm trees towered above us.
As I was packing up our bed, like I’ve done 100 times before, I twisted in a way that seemed benign, but made my back very angry. It wasn’t long before I was in a fair amount of pain. Loaded up on painkillers I felt a bit better and sitting around was making the pain worse, so I decided to try and hike. Gingerly, I hit the muddy trail.
We hadn’t gone far when we met Jorge and his wife Gloria, a lovely couple from nearby Pereira. Jorge, a retired doctor, told me about some good over the counter pain meds and gave us lots of tips for the remainder of our time in Colombia. He was happy to have the opportunity to speak to us in English, as he’d done a high school exchange in the USA.
We hiked with them up to the hummingbird reserve, where they treated us to chocolate con queso. They were great company on the trail and gave us their contact details if we needed help or were coming back their way. We were once again blown away by the friendliness and generosity of the Colombian people.
Mark is going to be a hummingbird photographer, if engineering doesn’t work out.
I didn’t think it was a good idea to go much further, so I think we missed the most spectacular of the views. Nevertheless, it was breathtaking scenery and we met some great people along the way. The cows were pretty damn cute too.
That night we popped the top at La Serrana in Salento, a popular hostel that also has a campground with amazing views. My favourite part was the veggie garden out the back. We were welcome to help ourselves… so we did. I was most excited to find some chilli’s, they have been hard to come by in Colombia and I have been missing spicy food.
As usual, we wish we had more time here, but we have to keep moving towards the border.
Posted from: Mocoa, Colombia.