Salento

We´re staying at the Plantation House. A landmark of oppression turned into a quaint mini-village of dorms and private suits. At the end of the garden: the hills and valleys of the Colombian coffee district. A few years ago this was a zone of combat. Now, we take an organized ride down by the river rushing alongside the foot of a mountain. The horses know the trail by heart, so all you really have to do is hold on when they lightly buckle mid-stream at a crossing.

The name of the hostel isn´t just for show, it comes with an coffee plantation still up and running. The owner of the plantation/hostel hosts a coffee tour. We slip and slide down a muddy road that on Bolívars time were the main stretch to Bogota. The plantation itself rests on a tongue of dry land; overlooking a patch of bamboo-jungle, overlooking pineapples growing ripe, and that almost sedating view of hills caressed with greywhite mist.

The town is a square and a couple of streets. One of them littered with restaurants and bars. At Camino Real they have a log-fire burning at the open-air part. The sky goes pitch black fast, the flames breathe on our faces, they play the kind of 90´s rock that makes a lump of nostalgia in my throat.

I down my last cuba libre for the evening, cue music, end credits: we´re strolling down deserted streets, fireflies sparkling around us, “November Rain” plays over the soundtrack.

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