La Piedra Del Penol, Spanish for “The Rock of Guatape”! The rock shoots 2,135 meters or just over 7,000 feet, straight out of the earth. The elevation here is 2,000 feet higher than Medellin.
The drive from Medellin is over an hour out of the valley and over the mountains through beautiful countryside dripping with green. The fincas, or small farms, dot the landscape of rich Colombian soil that grows fruit, vegetables and flowers all year long in this land of “eternal spring”.
In the distance you begin to notice the rock, a mountain jetting from the earth that our guides tell us is four times as larger under the surface. It is quite beautiful.
Our plan, like many, is to climb the rock’s 659 steps to the top. The man made steps are stitched into a crevice of the rock and go straight to the top. The hike is a switch back of cement stairs that climb to the top of the rock. The altitude and steepness of the climb get the heart pumping and the head light. The view is spectacular with waters in the distance as far as the eyes can see.
We were driven and guided by Juan Camilo and Esteban of All Access Colombia. They are great guys that will take good care of you from start to finish. Juan Camilo speaks perfect english and Spanish and when we told him…”Somos estudiantes de Espanol qui en Medellin y en Mexico. Necesitamos practicar por favor.” The Spanish flew inside the car as they explained Colombian culture and told us stories of friends and co workers. It was fantastic and as we listened we understood. We are getting this Spanish language. We are hearing the words and understanding. I know we will speak well soon! I know because now when I can’t sleep instead of counting sheep I’m conjugating verbs and thinking in Spanish.
Below the massive rock in North Central Colombia is the town of Guatape, tucked along the shores of the Guatape reservoir.
The town is colorful and fun with tight streets that remind us a bit of the Latin Quarter in Paris. (Okay, maybe not quite)
Just two months ago tragedy struck this community when a crowded tourist boat sank killing 7 people. Be smart! Ask and answer the question when joining a tour. Is getting on a boat with 150 people without a life jacket really what I want to do? Listen to your instincts and do your research.
The waters are clean and look to be quite fishy. Trophy trout adorn the walls of our hotel game balcony where we played pool, drank a fine rose and watched the sun go down on the of day of the solar eclipse. This is me when Caroline beats me two out of 3 at pool.
Check out the comfortable rooms at the hotel Los Recuerdos it’s right on the water with two great pools, and hot tubs.
We meet people, talk to people and learn from people of this great country of Colombia. What a gift it is to travel here and live here giving us time to learn culture, language and love. Today we had the chance to interact with the kids as they finished school. What a gift!
MUCHOS Gracias Colombia y SALUDOS Y BEDICIONES!