Into the green close to Medellin – Colombia
From my apartment in El Poblado Medellin I take a taxi to Terminal Sur. The ride takes about 10min and costs me 6.000 COP. In the terminal I take the bus to Amaga. I choose Tratam. It costs 4.700 COP. The big red bus resembles a chivabus and takes an hour and a half. He stops everywhere to pick up people.
Amaga, a village that counts 30,000 residents which has a lovely square- how could it be otherwise in Colombia?- and a huge church. It's Saturday today and there is a lot of activity in the square. People sitting, talking, drinking their coffee, vendor’s stalls, a bouncy castle. After asking around, I find the moto taxis. They are actually just beside the bus stop (which looks like a parking place for motorcycles). I ask for 'donde los gringos’, and the man knowns immediately where to go (5min, 5.000pp). On the way the man tells me that last Thursday there was a mining disaster; 12 miners were killed due to heavy rains and flooding at the mine and the bodies still have not been removed. Horrible!
The road to the hostel is not a tarmac road and I have to hold on securely to the driver. I arrive in the hostel. Paola, the owner, welcomes me kindly and helps me to get exact change from the taxi driver. Apparently it's only 4.000 cop. Be aware: they always try to get more out of the "Gringos". Blond hair means to some Golden hair.
There is a main house in the middle and a few little ones around it. The dorms usually consist of 4 beds. Paola tells me she usually receives students for a whole month who come to learn Spanish here. While learning Spanish, they also get acquainted with the eco-culture. Paola teaches her students how to grow vegetables, how to make compost, how they can make their own organic soap. It’s incredible how she got this whole project started! I feel a huge amount of respect for this woman! Paola shows me her vegetable garden. For the first time in my life I get to see a quinoa plant.
The eco-hostel lies between the mountains. You can really enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
Every tourist is obliged to take their litter with them when they leave. Only the compost is allowed on the compost heap. Paola hopes that in this way people will become more aware of their own footprint on the earth. This rule obviously does not apply to toilet paper! Ugh ... imagine! She puts her own garbage in plastic bottles, which will later be used as bricks.
I go for a walk, leaving the hostel to the left. To the top it takes me about 15min. At the top there is a chapel. On the way up, I see a lot of staring faces. As soon as I offer an 'Hola', they call back with enthusiasm. Here they have apparently not seen many tourists.
In the evening we all cook together. I cut the pumpkin. We eat a delicious vegetarian curry at one large table. So cozy!
Other tourists will visit a coffee farm today. I've already done that in Manizales and I want to do something different. Paola has a trip to Minas arranged for me. The bus to Minas leaves from Amaga. The ride takes 25min and Paola's friend Mauricio picks me up at the church once I arrive. Mauricio is a big, solid guy without the typical darker Colombian appearance, yet he assures me he is 100 percent Colombian. He says that in this region it is more common to see people with lighter skin and bright eyes.
Mauricio is my guide today and we walk together through the beautiful landscapes, past houses and coffee fields until we visit the home of the Céspedes family.
It is an hour and ten minute long walk. Some houses are made out of half clay and half brick. Mauricio tells me that every little while there is money to buy materials and they build a little bit more. Many homes have an orange color, this is the typical color of South West Antioquia. On the way we see waterfalls where we can drink.
At Luz Maria’s house we receive a warm welcome. We are immediately offered a lemonade and a mandarin from the garden. Luz shows me her grape tree. These grapes are much larger than the ordinary grapes, a little more acidic and delicious to eat fresh from the garden! The Céspedes family has 7 children. 3 Of the seven children continued to live with their parents and helped their father on the coffee farm. When the father died, the family was in financial difficulties so they realized that they could sell hats, made from espartillo (long dried grass) and now every third Saturday of the month they go to Medellin to sell everything they made of espartillo. It's almost Christmas and now they mainly sell cribs. I'm not going to make a crib, but a case for pencils. While Mauricio has a siesta, Luz explains the technique to me. It's not as difficult as I thought.
Mauricio wonders whether the blonde colored hair on my arms is colored gold! Haha!
This time I don’t take Tratam, but the bus Coomutrans. This bus is much faster! In 40min I get off at the metro station Estrella, where I take the metro to El Poblado. Because of this I also save a taxi from Terminal Sur home. I'll definitely go back to Amaga! It is ideal if you want to get away from the city Medellin.
How wonderful to escape briefly from the city!
1. Take repellent with you. In Amaga there are a lot of mosquitoes.
2. Buy delicious smelling homemade soap in the hostel or try Paola's homemade tea.
3. The bread is super-tasty and served with homemade butter and honey from the neighbor.
Here you can find information about How2getthere Amaga.
Written by Colombia Fácil Researcher Magali - 2014