Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Medellin and Botero

We left Guatape the afternoon of the second day rather than staying a third night, so we arrived in Medellin in time for dinner.  We had a great hostel in El Poblado, close to the city’s main bars and restaurants. It seemed to be a fairly modern area, and it is clearly where everyone comes out to play.  The rest of our group were going to a Thai place, so Nic and I had dinner on our own for a change, and took the opportunity to have a decent bottle of wine.  After dinner we caught up with some of the others in a small bar and settled in for the night.

rail and hail
It was good to have two days in Medellin, as we had a bit more shopping to do on the first day.  We picked up a new laptop first, and then walked over to another shopping centre to find something cool enough to wear when we hit the caribbean coast. It was further than we thought and it was just starting to rain when we arrived so we headed straight for the covered area.  It was just as well that we did because then the heavens opened and the rain started to come down so hard it can only be described as torrential.  But that was just for starters.  Then we got hailstones as big as your thumbnail, setting off all of the car alarms.  All this while it was still hot!  The staff at the shopping centre had to go into overdrive to mop away the gulleys of water that were flowing down the pathways.

Rain aside, I found my tops thanks to a very helpful lady who was most interested in our trip and was nice enough to compliment my Spanish.  Now I know full well that my Spanish is dire and she was just being kind, but it was still nice of her.

some of the Botero sculptures
After taking advantage of the party area of town for another evening, the next day was time for a bit of sightseeing.  We took the very clean and modern metro into town and went to see the Botero museum.  Botero, born in Medellin, is the one who does all the pictures and sculptures of fat people and animals.  Or as he says, not fat, but sensual.

The Death of Pablo Escobar
Now if you’ve been reading this blog since the start you may recall that I’m not always that impressed by art.  This was OK though.  It didn’t especially excite me, but it was OK.  Some of the pictures were quite amusing, and given that they are both sons of Medellin, I particularly liked the paining of the death of Pablo Escobar.  But before you get the idea that I’ve gone all cultural, I should point out that there were other artists featured as well, with some good and some that reinforced my view that some art isn’t worth the paper, film or whatever other medium that it is put down on!

poppy exhibition - drugs haul
 I did find the exhibit on poppies quite interesting thoough, ranging from the Haig fund to the cocaine trade
We wandered around some of the centre, and were surprised at the contrast with the area we were staying in.  This part of town was far more run down with the poverty of the city far more in evidence.  It was more interesting for it, but not as inviting.

Nic and I found a local place called the Beer Factory for dinner and tried a few local brews with varying degrees of satisfaction.  But an early night was on the cards as we had a very early start in the morning.

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