It has been a lovely, leisurely three days and therefore not too much to write.
The town of Marsella is a gorgeous colonial town which is very quiet until the sun goes down. At that time, the people flock to the central plaza, the conversation (and drinks) flow and the music & laughter go WAY up. Today, Monday, is still a holiday so it has been fiesta time for the local people and they are taken full advantage!
On Saturday night we spent several hours in the Plaza to see what it was all about and lasted until about 10pm. Still quite noisy but not as busy as last night – we suspect most people over did it las night and stayed home.
Sunday we ventured out early in the morning and took the Collectivo bus to Pereira (just over an hour), what a gorgeous ride. The road hugs the hillside and winds higher and higher with views of coffee and banana plantations. We get glimpses of large beautiful haciendas, restaurantes and fincas (farms), even some with cattle. The hills are so steep I don’t know how the cattle, and the coffee pickers for that matter, don’t break their legs walking downward.
Within an hour the hills give way to a flatter plain, and we see Pereira in the distance, a a nice looking and fairly large city of 400,000. Upon arrival at the Terminal de buses, we organize our transportation to Medellin for Tuesday, the 10th. Good thing we did as seats were selling up fast and our first choice wasn’t available. We choose Flora Occidental Gran Emperadora Elite at 10:15am. It is a large double decker and we are booked on the top deck which should give us a comfy ride with nice views.
Since we are here, we decided to take another hour long bus ride to the very popular tourist town of Salento. This is with one of the smaller mini buses and within the hour we are on our way. Little did we know that within 5 minutes of getting off the highway, we would be in a traffic jam that makes the Lions Gate Bridge rush hour a piece of cake! It took us 40 minutes to go about 6km and as we are worried about the return journey (didn’t want to miss our last bus to Marsella), we got off at the bus station and hopped on to the very next bus back. Salento is a colonial town similar to Marsella and with the obvious hoards of people driving into it, we wouldn’t have seen much. The beautiful scenery there and back was well worth the ride.
Happily back in Marsella around 4:30pm, we are hungry and head back to our apartment and make ourselves a yummy late lunch, early dinner. We do as the locals do, and head to the Plaza (all of 100 ft away) and watch the world go by. The townsfolk are all there decked in their Sunday clothes and it is perfect for people watching.
We assume that tomorrow is a work day and the music and partying will end early. Ohhhhhhh were we wrong. Apparently Monday is another day off, and quite frankly I don’t think that matters. Even if the bar has one patron, the music is at top volume until they decide to close up. Sigh………
Monday is laundry day. We have been away for 11 days now and a load of washing was in order. The landlady of the apartment kindly let us do our washing in their machine and it was finished in a wink.
All morning an interesting truck/bus called a Chiva drove by every hour blaring music from the series Las Hermanitas Calle. We discover that it is a tour of the small town and as I love the music, we jump on Marsella’s only “Hop on Hop off” bus (with no hopping, only sitting 😄). It was the highlight of my stay here and we realized we had seen most of the town – I always hate to miss anything.
Following our tour, we do a little walking, a little souvenir shopping, attend 5:00pm mass in the beautiful church and back to make dinner of the yummiest chorizos I have ever tasted (Santarosa chorizos which are not spicy and are famous for their meats).
We are hoping to leave early in the morning, surely the music will end early tonight. Oh how mistaken we are, however it does end early at 1:00am! I manage to sleep through most of it, but Fero likes to check what’s going on, so he watches out the balcony, and regales stories the next morning of all of the happenings in the town. Hilarious.
It was a lovely stay here and I feel we just started to enjoy the place and it is time to leave. Hasta pronto Marsella!