BootsnAll Travel Network

Day 159 Medellin, Colombia: El Penol

After another four o’clocker and a semi-early wake up call for me, I found myself in the same doldrums as the day before. I didn’t want to veg out again and nobody was going to be up for hours so I hit up the tourist wall. The only thing that I hadn’t done was to visit El Penol. El Penol is a huge rock similar to Ularu in Australia. Its basically a fifty store boulder with a house up on top and surrounded by a valley of a hundred lakes. The area is a lush green with pools of emerald lakes that wrap around making hundreds of little peninsulas and islands.

To get to the El Penol, I had to take a twenty minute walk to the bus station, walk around for a bus that went to the city just beyond the rock, and then take a two and a half hour ride one way. The ride wasn’t too bad as we climbed the mountains surrounding Bogota and then through the foothills on the other side. When the bus was to the entrance the driver pulled over and me the only tourist got out and walked up the hill to the entrance to the rock. The rock was a fairly popular tourist attraction for the people who were escaping Medellin and wanted to get into the beautiful lake filled valley. As you walk up to the rock, they have pretty much touristed out the place with restaurants and crap shops. You then pay the $3000P for the priviledge of walking up the stairway that was carved into the crevice that ran straight up. It is just like a narrow staircase. It definitely was a lot easier than the Monestary on the top of the hill overlooking Bogota. I only had to stop once going up the top. At the top is a sort of three story building that you can climb which gives you a 360 degree view of the valley. I was originally kind of negative about traveling such a long distance to look at a rock, but once I got there it was very impressive. That lasted about twenty minutes and I was on my way back home. I was so hungry by that time since it was almost five and I hadnít eaten that day. Luckily, there are people who come on board to sell little snacks. Its actually very good selling technique because first they hand out whatever they are selling to everybody. Its not paid for, but its just so people have to look at it. Then the person gives a little speech trying to talk it up or to give a good reason on why to buy it. Once that is done, they walk up and pick up the money for those who are wanting to buy, or pick up the merchandise for those that donít. For me it was yes, yes, yes. I think they were radioing ahead to let the other vendors know that there was a sure thing on board our bus.

That night was supposed to have been a night of rest and recovery. We had been hitting it pretty hard and our plans were to just kick back and watch movies. We were all set up until I brought up my urge for jelly filled donuts. About six of us started out going. We met up with one of the local guys who occassionally stays at the hostel. He sold jewelry at the park. There was a couple of girls there so we ended up getting a couple of bottles and sitting around talking. We decided on hitting the local salsa club and went and danced until pretty late. I got the girl again (just had to remind the guys.) When that club closed down we went to a late night rave club. We lost half the people at that point. Kris picked up a girl and when they closed we went to an after party park (Parque Poblado.) It was about 3:30 when I packed it in and went for food and back to the hostel. The only two left were the French guy and Kris. Apparently the French guy turned in around 4am. Kris and the local guy hit another park and then went back to his place where they crashed with some other people. He didnít make it back to the hostel until 3pm the next day. All of that just because we wanted some donuts while we watched tv. Great time.


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