Alto Bonito, Salamina, Colombia

The best travel experiences are the best because of the people you meet every single time. Even if you are in the best place in the world and you're with a group of people that you don't enjoy there is no way you will enjoy the experience. At least for us. Our experience in Salamina was one of the best ones because of our Airbnb hosts Martin and Angelica. The idea in Airbnb
is to exchange experiences, knowledge and learn about each others culture while staying with locals but let's face it.. it's also a business. In final end you pay so many people don't care about local bla bla bla and many locals don't care about the guests more than a hotel crew. Alto Bonito, Salamina, ColombiaThis was actually our first truly, deeply amazing experience via Airbnb. Martin and Angelica are insanely cool people ! Yep cool because nice is an old lady in a hotel giving you towels and showing you around. And they were cool, sharp sense of humor, genuine interest in people and hypercreativity all that in 2 people. And we genuinely became friends. So no wonder that instead of 3 days we stayed 10 and instead of hiking around we mostly stayed there. It was a destination on it's own for us. One of those places where I get an illusion that I can be an artist too and I started an artistic project. Over there I started doing crochet and it's actually going quite well, so there is hope ūüôā

But we did see Salamina and it reminded us of Filandia. Beautiful architecture, good coffee and wayyyy less foreigners as it's still not in Lonely Planet. And an hour away there was actually Samaria Valley, a wax palm valley very similar to the one near Salento. We obviously had to see it so we rented a jeep with a driver with a Canadian couple and we hit the road early morning. The driver was cheerfully explaining us things that we were passing by but he was not really interested in us, he didn't ask questions or anything. That's why I was surprised when he announced that we're gonna come for dinner to his place. Honestly I thought I misunderstood him or I thought that it was just one of those sentences "We have to meet...someday". I was even more surprised when he stopped and said he needs to buy potatoes tonight and bought kilos and kilos. Then when we arrived in the valley he asked a local farmer to give him some beans for us for dinner. So it was very much on and till the rest of the trip he was talking only about what his wife is gonna do with those delicious potatoes and beans. ColombiaIn the meantime we enjoyed the views on the palms and mountains just like the one in Cocora Valley but there were noooooo hikers, absolutely no one. Just this local farmer in his twenties explaining us his vision about the place. So it turned out his family had a beautiful patch of land there that they were planning to convert in the cheesiest touristic place ever. He told us how amazing it's going to be to fish trout from a tiny pond and ride a pony... I could imagine it being fun for a 5 year old but I couldn't understand how could it be nice to actually fish in a tiny pond when you have a river full of trout 5 min away. But Colombian tourism is different I guess.

After the trip our driver dropped us at our place and told us he would pick us up "Si Dios quiere" (if God wants) in the evening. I already thought it might not happen as in Colombia God often doesn't feel like doing anything. But I got surprised again when he came to pick us all up for dinner. The whole night was actually a bit of a shock since his vision was very different from ours... Let's say we were ready for a potato/ bean feast, Jandirk was practicing how to say politely that he can not drink because he takes antibiotics. Once there awkward silence set in... So I started what I do best. Asking questions and talking. Finally the dinner was ready and we got invited to the kitchen. But there were only four seats so we started bringing seats from the room. Our driver surprised said that they already ate and that it's only for us. We sat down all four of us, so me, JD and the Canadian couple and as soon as we sat down everyone of us got their "feast". Skinny girls from the "Devil wears Prada" ate more. On each plate there was one cooked potato and I mean little one not huge and half potato with a bit of something yellow on there and then an unidentified  tiny piece of pork. I knew that was the worse part so I basically swallowed it first, once I felt that chewing wouldn't get me anywhere. To drink we got an unidentified glass of something white. That was the most awkward dinner ever and the tiniest too. We thanked for all of it politely. Our driver mentioned that we could tell our friend how amazing we we;re received so that they would come as well to be his clients...  That day I promised myself never to except that sort invitation from people that don't talk to us. Obviously if they are not interested in us and they invite us they have to be interested in our euros. Travels learn us things every day.

P.S. If someone is wondering how I found the Airbnb place in Salamina (It's called Alto Bonito). I have no life and a sea of time so I went through all the Airbnb properties within our price range. I know many people don't have the time so here is the link¬†https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2290380¬†ūüôā

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