Did I do anything today?

Medellin Travel Blog

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Church across from Parque Poblado in south Medellin.

Hello all,

It's been about a week since I had a 'do-nothing day', so I guess that today qualifies.  I ventured out for lunch at around noon and discovered that I was very close to the ultra-hip Zona Roja.  I strolled past a sushi place, and decided that it was time for a splurge.  I loaded up on the raw fish and actually broke $20 on the tab.  I wouldn't blink twice at this bill in the states, but I somehow flet a bit dirty for spending this much here.  Oh well, it was delicious.  And I topped it off with a ultra-tasty raspberry smoothie, and then stopped by the Juan Valdez Cafe for one of those blender coffee drinks too.

I went back to the room for another five hours or so before felling the hunger hit again.  I actually took the recommendation of the Lonely Planet guide and went to a nearby italian restaurant for dinner.

A little creek runs through a park near Carrera 36 in Poblado, Medellin.
  It was another pricey meal, but I managed to keep it around $15 so I did a bit better.  I do have three more days here in Medellin, so I make a promise to myself that more will get done tomorrow.

I'll just add a few observations about my trip since this is a short blog.  One thing that Colombia really seems to get, at least in the cities I've been to... street addresses!  Adresses in Colombia are useful.  Streets are quite often numbered.  Calles go one direction, and Carreras go the other direction.  Street numbers are usually the number of the nearest cross street, then a hyphen followed by a number corresponding with location within the block.

The tree lined Carrera 36 in Poblado, Medellin.
  Also, businesses and private homes alike seem to actually post the numbers on the buildings.  This may seem like basic stuff, but I've found it to be a pretty rare thing in South America.  Kudos!

I don't like high-altitude cities in Latin America....  I LOVE THEM!  I want to choose a location to come down soon and spend a few months.  I want it to be cheap, easy to get around, and nice and cool.  I want to finally get over this hump I have with learning spanish.  Cities currently in the running are Antigua (Guatemala), Quito (Ecuador), Bogota (Colombia), and Medellin (Colombia).  Of places I haven't been to, I would also consider a high altitude city in Argentina.  Antigua is a great town, but I'm not sure if it's cool enough, and there alot of gringos there so the temptation to speak english would be great.  Quito and Bogota have my favorite climates, so they are the front runners right now.  They were also the easiest to get around in.

I try not to make alot of judgements about people when I travel, but Colombia and it's people are certainly unique.  They have had alot of hardship with almost constant civil war, and drug related violence for the last 40 years.  In that way it reminds me of Nicaragua.  But where Nicaragua has a decimated economy, and hasn't figured out a way to pull itself up, Colombia has found opportunity.  The people seem to have a great optimism to them.  The demonstration on Monday was a great example.  Faced with one remaining guerilla group (FARC), the people really seem to have finally had enough.  That attitude, along with a recent government amnesty and reward program for terrorists leaving the group seem to be the best chance to pull the country out of these difficulties.  My views are simplistic to be sure, but I sense a change here.

Later, Phil

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Church across from Parque Poblado …
Church across from Parque Poblado…
A little creek runs through a park…
A little creek runs through a par…
The tree lined Carrera 36 in Pobla…
The tree lined Carrera 36 in Pobl…
photo by: caliphil007