Guayabal, Colombia – Mountains over mountains

Colombia is mountains. Mountains over mountains. Our today’s driving comprises 442 km / 280 mi. This doesn’t sound much for the moment. But with over 5,000 curves and more than 8,000 m / 26,000 ft metres of elevation this is a real task. We start at the “sugarloaf” at 2000 m / 6600 ft, then descend into the valley at 200 m / 660 ft until we cross the Central Cordillera at 3700 m / 12,000 ft (with some more ups and downs of course). While heading down to the 1400 m / 4600 ft high Manizales we are lucky: The dramatic rainfalls of the last nights that partially spared us, partially not, made a whole mountain slipping down. In the meantime the lane is ploughed, but the city is without water for days. We see people on foot, with mopeds and cars to fill water into canisters where it runs. If we’d have come earlier the road would have been closed.

Without a certain place to sleep we wouldn’t have undertaken this ride, but we are expected. Hacienda Guayabal is situated in the heart of Eje Cafetero, the Colombian coffee triangle, close to the town of Chinchiná. The coffee finca offers accommodation in different classes, but camping as well for 10,000 COP (5.50 $) per person with bathroom, hot shower, day room with electricity, and a lot of coffee and some titbits during the day. Heiress Doña Maria Theresa has everything under control; her adult son speaks some English. He calls us many times on the way, concerned where we are. In Chinchiná he even organises that we are picked up by a car to be guided to the hacienda. That wasn’t the worst idea, it is a bit complicated to get there. Their cuisine is well-known (18,000 COP for a rich 3-course menu). Tourism is developing slowly in Colombia. Hacienda Guayabal is one of the not too many coffee producers who offer tours. But that’s for tomorrow.

Hacienda Guayabal, N 04°57’25.2’’ W 75°36’24.3’’,

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