Monday, 30 June 2014

Guatape - Chiva y Zocolos

Here is a traditional Colombian bus called a 'Chivva'. Historically, the bus was used for carrying live stock and produce such as vegetables, fruit and rice. People also use these for transport around the countryside. They don't look like Nottingham buses do they!

Here are some houses that show the 'zocolos' we mentioned yesterday. Zocolos are the brightly coloured signs on the houses in Guatape.


Señorita Blakesley's Momento especial - Climbing El peñol

In Guatape there is a 600 metre high rock which is a fantastic sight seeing point. Here are Walter and Señora Cooke before the big climb!  

Señorita Blakesley and Walter took Raquel to the top of El Peñol while Señora Cooke looked after Raul at the bottom as he is a bit scared of heights!

After a bit of a hike up some very steep stairs - 650 in total - we finally made it and the view was absolutely breathtaking...
 The water you can see is a reservoir built over village that flooded some years ago. Sometimes you can see the steeples of the church when there hasn't been much rain and the water level is low.

 Raquel didn't want to miss out on a photo opp - she gave Raul and Señora Cooke a wave!

Momento especial de Señora Cooke - Sunday Mass at el monasterio

Up the hill from the house we have been staying at there is a Benedictine Monastery.

The monks hold a mass every Sunday for local people and, as we were local people for the weekend, we decided to take the beautiful walk through the green and peaceful countryside in the warm sunshine to join them.

It was very busy with children of all ages coming to Mass with their families. Hearing the monks singing was an amazing experience and a wonderful start to another great day in Colombia.
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Sunday, 29 June 2014


On Saturday, Walter and Carmen took us to the countryside to a favourite holiday town for the Colombians called Guatape . It was three hours in the car. We have been staying with Walter’s aunts who are very welcoming. Guatape  is very famous for its colourful houses that have paintings on them called ‘zocalos’ and a huge rock called El Peñol .

A typical Colombian lunch with bean stew (frijoles), rice (arroz), avocado (aguacate), pork crackling (chicharron) and arepa (maiz flour pattie).



We were very excited to watch the Colombian game. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!
We went out to Guatape town where there was a music festival and saw lots of Colombians celebrating the Colombian football team’s success. This weekend is also a bank holiday 'puente' (bridge).


Saturday morning in Envigado, Medellin

Here is the view from the apartment we are staying at in Envigado with the lovely Carmen, a teacher from Manuel Mejía Vallejo and Alberto, her husband.

Desde Inglaterra a Colombia - From England to Colombia!

From Nottingham to Medellin...

We set off at the crack of dawn and made our way to Heathrow Airport in London.  Here’s our airplane...
The first flight lasted for nine hours to Miami in the United States of America. We knew Spanish was spoken a lot in the states but were amazed that all the security guards and staff at the airport all spoke Spanish to us before English! 

Señora Cooke and Señorita Blakesley were starting to feel a bit pale and tired but Raquel and Raul  were wide awake...


We took our second flight and arrived  in Medellin at 8 o’clock at night – 2 o’clock in the morning UK time.