The murder and cocaine capital of the 1980s, has turned itself inside out and transformed into a modern, functional, sexy city. Once again I overstayed my original plans because there’s too much fun to be had here, if I keep going on at this rate I’ll miss uni next year (almost a joke…)
The journey out of zona cafetera deserves a mention. We had a spare six hours between buses in the nothingtown of Pereira and so helped ourselves through The Worst Movie I’ve ever seen, Dumb and Dumber To, with a bottle of vino tinto and some mystery fruit. After a long night bus to Medellin, we arrived at our hostel dishevelled and musky and were greeted with beers and ‘yews’ by a gang of seriously rowdy Aussie boys. 26 (yes twenty six!) moustached and/or long-haired skaters from Geelong had been wreaking havoc on the town for the next preceding 48 hours and we arrived at the butt end of their bender at 5:30am, hugely impressed that they were still kicking on. I believed the stories about octopus shaped pills and having done laundry once in two months because of the state of the dorm we moved into, but quickly forgave them after falling prey to the charms of Medellin’s nuts nightlife myself. This city is fkn fun.
Various daytime adventures were slotted in between tequilas, including scenic cable car rides up mountains and admiring Botero sculptures and light installations. We took a sick day trip with New York Dreamboys Brian and Paul to Guatapé where we climbed a massive monolithic rock and took jumping photos because tourism and freedom and America. A highlight afternoon was a public holiday when everything was closed, our posse of ten hungover gringos stumbled into a casino at three in the afternoon and lost money over pink daiquiris in our thongs and smelly T shirts.
Above and beyond the best day in Medellin was Wednesday. We kicked off with Pablo’s kickass walking tour of the city and actually learnt something other than how difficult it is to cure hangovers with agua con gas. After too much fried food we bulged our muscles in a veeeery tense queue for tickets to the football game on that night… With success! It was Medellin’s Nacionale vs Sao Paolo from Brazil and it was INSANE. We got tickets right in the nosebleed section, surrounded by crying fathers, so many Nacionale tattoos and exclusively green and white. Fact: Colombians can sing/shout for two hours straight. Nacionale won 1-0 and the atmosphere in the stadium was out of the world. It’s higher than religion. 40,000 people simultaneously at that level of happiness is ridiculous. I’ve never experienced that much love in one room, and I’ve been to a Beyoncé concert. After the game we hung out with aguardiente and so many happy fans, people kept coming up to us and pouring shots and singing and kissing and making marriage proposals, it was incredible. Absolutely a highlight of South America so far.
Finally escaping the hungry tentacles of Medellin for Santa Marta tonight. Vamos!
Paisas and oversized passionfruit,