Two weeks ago, I was in D.C. for a river tubing trip. My friend’s beautiful, Colombian girlfriend suggested that I become friends with her brother since we have many interests in common: avid travelling, aviation, timepiece collecting, family-orientation and experience-driven decision making. Both Felipe and my dad played pro basketball overseas, and “Ipe” now brokers aircraft and rare plane parts from his home in NYC. Also, it isn’t terrible that he looks like an Armani model. So here I am in Medellin to celebrate the annual Feria de Las Flores.
I hit the ATM for local currency and find a friendly, character-like taxi escort into town since it’s late and buses have stopped running. 56 degrees gradually becomes 68 as we descend into the Medellin basin among the Andes. Motor bikes seem fearless as they whip around traffic on these curvy roads. Our peaceful ride with PianoMan on the radio suddenly turns into a massive party. Lleras Park is hopping with backpackers and locals, bars and clubs, folks socializing in the street and dancing the night away. It’s 1 a.m. local time; I’m glad to finally lay down in my bunk bed — my first stay in a true hostel. Good thing Delta provides earplugs and a sleep mask!
The backpacker lifestyle is appealing in the sense that you can pick up with strangers who quickly become friends, then meander your way along an unforeseen path with no obligation to time or place. Today I will wander around town until the gang arrives.
Villa Nueva, Medellín, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia