Guatape is a cool little lakeside town, known for La Piedra; a huge boulder towering over the town, and super interesting 3D folk art looking appliques on all of the houses. There are over 600 stairs you climb to get to the top of the rock, and incredible views once you are there. We worked at a hostel there for 2 weeks, so we really got to know the town, and had the opportunity to meet all the amazing people who traveled through there.
Some highlights of our 2 week stint were going fishing with H, hanging with an amazing Australian family who live in Medellin, seeing a really weird circus, hiking to a lovely waterfall, seeing Pablo Escobar’s bombed-out vacation home, being invited to eat lunch in the Monastery with Wolf (our wonderful German friend) and generally spending some time lakeside working, relaxing, playing cards and meeting people. Also I got to see some of Tom’s secret super powers!
We had taken the bikes out one day, planning on riding as much as the ring road as we could before dark. The ring road is a long (16-18k), unpaved circuitous route around the farms of Guatape leading to La Piedra. While speeding down one of the downhill portions of this beautiful road, the brakes of my mountain bike all of a sudden snapped off! While I should have just immediately jumped off the bike, my fever-addled brain (oh yeah- I had a temp of 101 that day. Mmmaybe not the best day to go on a 10 mile bike ride in the rain, You live-you learn 🙂 ) just was not fast enough to propel my body off the bike. Instead I gripped the handlebars tighter and helpfully said “brakes are out, brakesareout, brakesareout, brakes areouuuuut!!!!!!” as I continued to pick up speed, careening down the hill. As I was thinking “oh god please don’t let me lose any front teeth or significant portions of my nose” Tom bailed off his bike, ran down the hill with super human speed, and threw himself in front of my bike to stop it, a la superman stopping a train. Whatta Man!