There is something about Jardín that makes you feel like you’ve entered a time capsule and transported back to a non-descript time in the past.
A time when people did nothing much other than hanging out on the main plaza and drinking coffee or tea.
Was there ever such a time?
Regardless, at first we wondered, ‘Do the people here do anything else?‘
Then the next thing we know, we found ourselves doing exactly that: hanging out and drinking either on the plaza or our hostel balcony that overlooks the plaza. And nothing else. For 4 straight days.
If you know us (or me in particular) – staying still for that long is not something that we like to do very often. But in Jardín, thoughts such as ‘We came here to do something. What was it?’ and words such as ‘agenda‘ and ‘list of things to do‘ soon faded away.
Jardín seems to have that effect on us.
Maybe it’s their location: in a valley surrounded by farmlands and mountains on all sides. Maybe it was the weather – nice and cool with spotty rains. Or the plaza – it was filled with inviting tables and chairs set out by the bars lining the plaza.
It could be the 25-cent coffee, the 80-cent fresh fruit juice, or the 90-cent shot of Aguardiente anywhere in the pueblo.
Or it could be the fresh trouts available from many trucheras (trout farms) surrounding the pueblo. You even get to ‘fish’ the trouts yourself if you’d like.
Or the people – ‘paisas’, how people in this region is called are known for the friendliness.
Or it could be the friendly and curious kids – the kids who were never told not to talk to strangers. We spent an evening talking to kids we met on the plaza about Suarez’ handball in the last World Cup, how much we dislike claro (boiled milk and corn and tastes worse than it sounds), and how it’s not really nice to call somebody ‘lesbian’.
It doesn’t matter.
The days blurred into one it was easy to forget how long we’ve stayed there. And it was easy to be convinced to extend just another day.
We didn’t want to leave.
But our obligation in Ecuador is calling and we had to keep moving south – so we yanked ourselves from the time warp, donned our backpacks, and left with a heavy heart for an 11 hour journey to Salento.
And in an attempt to talk out of it (as if the 11 hour journey was not enough), on the day we left the grey clouds over Jardín departed and it was as a perfect day as it could be.
Good bye, Jardín. Thanks for the time warp.
- Jardín is a 4 hour trip south from Medellin
- We stayed at Fami Hotel that has a nice balcony facing the plaza. 27000 COP per person including breakfast and dinner. No internet, but you can piggy back off the plaza’s wifi.
- Horseback riding to La Cueva del Esplendor – 35000 COP – is worth it. The journey is as exciting as the destination.