I smile when I think of the past and get excited about the future. – Julie Murphy
After spending just a single night in Cali, Colombia we were in a rush to get out of The Pelican Larry Hostel and on to our next destination of the small mountain town of Salento. The primary reasons for leaving in such a haste after arriving in the late evening was because of the awful coked up backpackers we were sharing a dorm with and the blatant lack of action the owner took to resolve the situation. Absolutely exhausted all Char and I wanted to do was to get some sleep. We were checked in to a dorm with only 3 other guys and things were going fine until about 4am these 3 blokes busted in the room, turned on the lights, turned on music, and began smoking cigarettes in the room. Completely annoyed I sat up and said, “c’mon man what are you doing it’s 4am and we’re trying to sleep here?” Their response was to scream and curse at me in French. Not having any of this I grabbed my bag and my bedding and stormed off to the next room because I was too exhausted to try and even have a simple conversation with these guys, which Char followed as well. First thing the next morning I sought out the owner, an Aussie I believe, and he explained to him our situation and his response was, “yeah we’ve had a lot of complaints about these guys for a few days now, I’ll talk to them.” I was thinking, really this is how you are going to handle a situation of people smoking in your rooms, waking up guests in the middle of the night, and attempting to incite a fight? Prior to this situation we had planned to stay in Cali to explore it for a few days and stay at this hostel, but after this response our plans altered to pack up as quickly as possibly and let other backpackers know that this is not the place to stay. I am amazed over and over again how so many hostel owners don’t realize that backpackers talk more than any other travelers and when you fail to resolve simple issues this will eventually come back to affect their business.
The next morning we woke up early at 7am ready to hike El Valle de Cocora, which is in the Central Cordillera of the Andean mountains and home to the tallest palm trees in the world, the Ceroxylon quindiuense. Yes, I’m a nerd and whenever I’m in a location in the world where this one plant or thing grows I feel like I have to make an effort to see it or experience it myself.
and arrived in Medellin around 6:30pm and checked into Samán hostel–a cold feeling place like a hotel. Excited to be in Medellin we decided to walk around the area before calling it a night.