Day 34

A morning walk to the Salento viewpoint proved fruitless as the clouds had descended around us…. Still took some photos though. Then a minibus to Manizales and to our AirBnB, which turned out to have pets! Two cats (Maya and Moy) and a dog (Dog). An evening walk to see the sunset from the Manizales viewpoint turned out to be even more fruitless than our morning walk, this one ended with no view, torrential rain and thunderstorms! We had a lovely sausage on a stick though.

Day 35

Coffee plantation visit number two! This time to Hacienda Venencia, a much bigger (200 hectare), more industrial plantation. We had a much more in-depth tour and explanation about coffee, including its origins (Ethiopia then stolen by some Dutch dudes and spread to their colonies), marketing of different coffees, different qualities of coffees, different roasts of coffees and different coffee making processes. We are now uber coffee snobs. Interestingly you can get a better cup of Colombian coffee outside of Colombia, as they export the good quality stuff to make the dolla. We had a walk around the plantation, it’s unbelievable how steep the coffee plantation is, extremely treacherous to pick the plants and a good picker will only be paid around £15 a day. A recent influx of professional Venezuelan coffee pickers have hit Colombia due to the turmoil over there, sadly they would earn only £15 a month in Venezuela.

Pizza and a couple very strong Micheladas in the evening meant we had sore heads in the morning!

Day 36

The best way to get rid of a hangover - go to some thermal hot springs. As it was a Tuesday lunchtime, and all local people are at work, we had the place to ourselves for 3 hours! Which was bliss. We caught a local bus back to the town and had a wonder through the centre, saw the Cathedral which has the highest spire in all of Colombia (106 meters). Then walked up to the viewpoint we visited on the first day here. Luckily the weather was clear and we managed to see a beautiful sunset.

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