“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them.” – Amelia E. Barr
I often find that experiences, good or bad, while traveling are usually directly related to the people you meet, and the three nights I spent in Guatapé were no exception. I went to Guatapé after a stomach bug/food poisoning bout in Medellin. After two nights of partying and one night shivering in a 75 degree room, I needed some R&R.
Upon arrival to Guatapé, I was immediately taken by the postcard perfect town. I arrived at Finca Escondida in Guatapé after a painless two and a half hour bus ride, making it the shortest travel day I’ve had so far.
After being shown to my room and plopping down onto the bed, I realized rest would be a little more difficult than imagined. The room was a shoebox sized square with two bunk beds crammed in, making it almost too small for all four occupants to stand at once.
Dorm Room Occupants:
Immature and extremely negative Belgian guy
Friendly Swiss guy who smelled as if he hadn’t showered in 2 weeks
Socially awkward red bikini underwear donning German
Me- overjoyed to spend three nights with these weirdos
OK OK, I know I’m complaining BUT in my defense I was still sick. Add in a sweet but extremely proud French girl (shocker huh?) and her boring goody two-shoes boyfriend and I present to you the worst “travel family” I had in all of Colombia.
Travel Family- Odd coupling of travelers who choose to interact and sightsee with others staying at their hostel or guesthouse. Rather than sit alone sulking in a corner, many travelers instead hang in these odd groups of people for a few days. In many larger hostels one has a nice choice in travel families, which usually results in a better connection among travelers. In rare cases, such as the aforementioned, one is forced to sightsee and have meals with people that don’t particularly please or interest them in the slightest bit.
I’m not saying they were bad or mean spirited, I just wasn’t in the mood to make new friends or listen to bickering. I was already internally bickering about my queasy stomach, the tiny room, baby crib quality bed, and lack of coffee at the hostel. Needless to say the few days I spent here I was in hermit mode, which is a rarity for me. I would have stayed in the cramped room if the smell from the Swiss guy and/or his bags wasn’t overwhelming.
I admit I probably sound like a mean spirited bitch, but I know that everyone reading this has been there at one point or another. You get sick and then homesick, and long for something familiar. Not a tasteless croissant from the Medellin supermarket. Not a tiny room swarming with insects. Not the flabby body of a long haired German backpacker who thinks it’s acceptable to walk around in red bikini underwear in the prescence of an unknown woman, that is an image I can never erase. I could have been in a 4 star hotel and still would have likely hated everything and everyone around me. Expelling everything that enters your mouth for 24 hours will do it.
Don’t get me wrong, I was cordial and even had a few meals with this misfit family. But they had to have known that I had absolutely no interest in getting to know them or bother even learning their names, which I can’t recall for the life of me.
Small room and uncomfortable beds aside, the scenery and view from Finca Escondida was THE BEST of Colombia. If you go to Guatapé, stay at Finca Escondida but just book a private room, it’s worth it!
Dear Finca Escondida,
Sorry I wasn’t able to fully enjoy your beautifully manicured premises- it wasn’t you it was me.