Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman -
After the big city of Cali I headed by bus about 3 hours north to Armenia where I wanted to see Colombia's coffee region. The bus ride was an easy one
with flat and open countryside to travel through. We travelled towards the towns of Palmira and Buga. Along the way we passed over rivers called Rio
Frayle, Rio Bolo, Rio Guabas and Rio Sonso. I saw cows grazing and crops growing with a backdrop of distant mountains. Some of the houses on the farmland
looked very flash indeed, some had their own mini football pitches!
A variety of other things you see on the side of the road included 'Jugos' (fruit
juice for sale, freshly made with fruit, ice, sugar, water / milk and zapped in a food-processor - it's delicious!).
There were several military checkpoints
also during this journey, randomly stopping vehicles. We passed through small towns where people were pushing carts and trolleys, riding bicycles or
hanging out at motorbike shops. We were still 114km from Armenia when I started to see road signs pointing toward Buenaventura
saying the coast was
122kms away to the west. We passed through Buga
, briefly stopping at the terminal then continued on towards Tulua passing on a bridge over the Rio Tulua (river).
Passing Through Tulua
As we came into Tulua, I saw a small man-made lake where people were riding around in little self-propelled boats. Continuing north, Armenia is now only
83kms away while Pereira is 87kms away according to the road sign. But a little while later another sign said Armenia 71kms and Pereira 93kms which if
you look at a map looks much more accurate. For reference, some of the other road signs I saw in this area of beautiful flat green but beginning to become
hilly countryside with many ferns and palm trees were Medellin 343kms, Bogota 398kms and Ibague
We came to a town very close to Armenia called La
Tebaida. I caught glimpse of a sign on the side of the road that said that you can go rafting there, the name was Balsaje Robinson Eco-Aventura on the
Rio La Vieja. I saw another juice stand with available fruits being Zanahoria, Remolacha, Naranja, Mandarina, Pina, Borojo and Uva.
Fork in the Road
The road forked, the
right going to Ibague
, the left going to Armenia. During this short distance of 8kms to Armenia
I saw some nice looking villas that had fancy gates at the
front and nicely kept properties and gardens, some with swimming pools. I also started to see some banana trees bearing big bunches of fruit and trees with orange and yellow colored flowers as well as shops selling garden ornaments and ceramic pots.