Ahhhhh a sleep in day. Nice to have those every now and then. We had nothing pressing so we had a leisurely breakfast and then walked to the Poblado Metro Station. Medellin has been very progressive with their Metro, adding an extremely modern train from the south to the north of the city (over 31km), and 4 or 5 cable car routes up the various hillside barrios, or cumunas.
We purchased 2 tickets each and as long a short we didn’t leave the ‘fare paid’ area, we could ‘ride the rails’ all day. We took the train from Poblado to the last station in the north, Niquia, got off, and rode back to La Estrella in the south. Here we didn’t need to get off, so we stayed on and got of at Acevedo to connect with the Metro Cable to Santo Domingo and another one to Parque Arvi.
The Cable car went up the steep mountainside (quite similar to Grouse Mountain) and passed through several comunas. The comunas were very interesting to see – amazing how they built house after house perched on the hillside. Some of the higher areas are so steep there are very little roads, only staircases. This is the reason the city of Medellin built the Metro Cable up this far – the communities were isolated from the city allowing poverty and violence to dominate these areas. It is, I am sure, slow progress to change the entire makeup of the comunas, however they are seeing a difference.
Enroute to Santo Domingo we share the Cable car with a family from Medellin, and as we passed through Popular comuna, she said this area is very, very dangerous. So although progress is being made, there is still much to do.
Changing cars at Santo Domingo, we went even further up the mountain and then for 4km across the top of the hill. Below us was dense cloud forest, with the occasional farm. Known as Ecoturism Parque Arvi, it is an ecological preserve and a Pre-Hispanic archeological site. The area was beautiful and within the hour we made our way back down on the Metro Cable to the Metro train back to Poblado and our hotel.
Attempting to catch the last few rays of sun at the pool, it was only a few minutes before it hid behind the building next door and not much later the afternoon rains began. We were safely in our room by the time the ‘DD’ – Daily Downpour began – whew!
Once it was ‘safe’ to venture outside without getting soaked, we walked over to a restaurant we were hoping to try – Ajiacos and Mondongos. Drats, it was closed. We checked a couple more and nothing appealed to us. Sooooooo, we picked up our fave Empanadas, and then stopped at a street vendor for chicken shish kabobs that were incredible! The restaurants aren’t very busy, however the take outs and street vendors do a booming business – best to do as the locals do, I say. Much less expensive too. Tonight we had Empanadas, chicken shish kabobs, a bottle of wine and a coke for less than one dinner at home without wine!