Sunday, May 1, 2011

Maggot in my salad and terrible service in the colorful town of Guatape

We left Medellin Sunday morning to for some small town hospitality in Guatape. Only 2 hours from Medellin, its made beautiful from its surrounding man made lakes. On the way to the town we made a stop in nearby town of Penol, that had a church that looked like at rock and lazy street dogs that didn't resemble the skinny ones in Central America. After we made our way down to the Rock of Guatape that stands over 200 meters with more than 600 steps to its pinnacle. Cost to enter was $5 and the view was absolutely breath taking, with 360 degrees of mountains, blue lakes and the perfect sky. After 30 minutes taking in the view fresh air we drove into Guatape, only 15 minutes from the rock.

just a normal crack in the road during rain season
Easter Sunday and there's a service going on

We arrived in town on Easter Sunday, most of the city slickers had left or where leaving so we had many selections for accommodations. 1st place we check was on the malecon, the lady working told us she would give us a room for $60 for 2 nights and we ask about parking she said they had, "ok great" we would have lunch and come back I told her. She told me they had a restaurant down stairs so I said "we eat here give us a better deal" she laughed it off. We decided to try it out, the food was pretty good cost for a dish of fried fish and grilled chicken was $10 for both not bad. Now after we told her we wanted to park our van inside, she told us it would cost an extra $3 to park overnight. My spanish is not the best but I was sure she told us its included and didn't mention anything about extra when we asked earlier, so we told her thanks and we would think about it, paid for lunch and left. As we walked away she had the waitress chase us down to tell us they would include the parking. We didn't like how the owner handed it first so we declined their loss and our gain because down the road and near the town centre we found a family hostel for only $35 for 2 nights but no parking the owner assured us street parking would be fine we saw others park outside and no glass on the ground so we took her advice. This is the maybe the 3rd time we've parked our van in Latin America without secure parking all was good for the 2 night. Guatape is a really cute town that seems to be building on that theme, with colorful flower and animals painted on their 2 story buildings, short old fashion street lights and its friendly pedestrian streets. The lake offers all water sports from sailing, windsurfing, fishing and swimming overall its a great town to spend a few days.
600 plus steps and worth everyone

taxi's, tuk tuk's and bus's waiting to take people into town

On the 2nd day we had lunch on malecon overlooking the lake we where the only customers and we asked the kid to tell us about their menu de dia, he told us lemonade, soup, rice, meat and salad. Sounds like any other set menu in Colombia, so we said yes. First came the soup was alright, than the main dish that had some hamburger meat that tasted like no hamburger I've ever had. Ji, didn't even finish hers but I did and when I got to the salad I discovered a maggot eating my tomato, than the young boy came back to us to tell us they had no more lemonade and if we wanted another drink it would cost extra. I asked why he didn't have answer, so I asked is the set menu cheaper now because we don't get a drink again no response. So I asked for the bill and paid with a large bill, he told us he had no change, I told him thats all I got. So he took our money and went next door for change. When he came back and ask for change again "nope sorry thats all" he left again and finally got the correct change for us, no tipping his ass. Other than the 2 poor service experience the town was delightful and would recommend anyone traveling to Colombia check it out just becareful of the tourist trap.

overflow from the lakes, sienna made it through ok