It has been more than two months that I left Cali and went a little bit more north and no, I’m not in the country of Armenia, but in the city of Armenia. It’s not too well known but definitely worth a visit being located in the heart of one of the Colombian coffee regions. There is one place well known by travelers from Colombia and from all over the world and that’s Salento, but there’s way more to see and you find yourself in the middle of coffee and plantain plantations and in most of the places being the only tourist and therefore the attraction for locals when siting at the Plaza Bolivar having a coffee or strolling around in one of the villages. And doing so locals start talking to you and it not only happened one time that I was invited to visit their villages and their farms. During my stay I got to know lots of places and going there a second time you’ll be greeted by the people like a long-time friend. In that way I got to know Jenny, Juan Sebastian, Azul and Juan David serving the best food in their restaurant Rio Azul in Buenavista and showing me their village. Doña Maria Luz inviting me to her farm and preparing chaqueta, a coffee made with agua panela (sugar cane water). Don Leo who showed me his farm and the whole process of coffee production. Darwin and Don Fernando making a tour with me in Genova and inviting me to a presentation of the local coffee production and many more. Guess what, I know more places in this region than most of the locals and there’s still numerous places I haven’t been. Next to the landscape, the picturesque villages and the excellent coffee, the climate is like the people, sunny and warm. Wether it’s the bus driver singing loudly Queen songs while driving the TINTO (the public transport in Armenia), the owner of the Bar Social in Pijao explaining the history of his 75 year old italian coffee machine while preparing my café con leche, the guy at the corner selling cellphone-covers greeting whenever I pass by without ever having bought anything from him and Diana, Oscar, Laura, Pilar, Estella, Oscar, Paula and and and….
You might recognize that I fell in love with this place and still, I’m a backpacker and the day will come when I take my backpack and move to the next destination on my journey.
So greetings for now from Armenia and try a Colombian coffee while watching the video