Monthly Archives: January 2009

Trip down the mountain to Girardot-Peñon

The great thing of living in Bogota is that the weather is like spring and if you want it hotter than you just drive down the mountain until you encounter the temperature you like. In Anapoima (one hour from Bogota) for example the temperature is already around 25Celcius. This village with some nice private clubs and conjuntos (closed neighborhoods) has the best climate for me. Not too warm, but enough for the need of a pool.

p1010401The road down the mountain gives you some nice views of Colombian nature and you can make ap1010410 stop in some great “Parilla” places where they serve the traditional Colombian plates with meat, patatos and platano (kind of banana).

Continuing from Anapoima, after a total of about 3 hours driving, you will arrive at Girardot. This is basically a hot and busy pueblo (town) and is not really attractive to stay at. Girardot and its surroundings (including Melgar) however have some of the nicer conjuntos you will find in Colombia. In Peñon for example you will be amazed by the humongous houses in which an interesting mix of the richer Colombian families (both on the good and bad side of the law) are  BBQ-ing by the pool, racing around with jet skis on the lake and driving around in their golf cars.

penon-2penon-1The whole place has a relaxed tropical atmosphere and when invited by friends we like to go for a few days to calm down from the big city with some extreme lazy behavior and if possible play some golf. As we do not have a handicap yet however, we are not allowed to play in the cool morning and the temperature, sun and mosquitoes in the afternoon make you desperate in hitting the little white ball as fast as you can to get back to the pool again. The heat in Girardot (30-35Celcius) sometimes is too much for me and as a gringo I burn far to easy. Besides that we get bored of not doing anything when staying too long, so more than 3 days I think we have not lasted yet.

If you have a chance to go there some day, let me know what you think. I am sure that most of the non-Colombians I know will not expect this kind of wealth in a “3rd world country”.

Btw. I forgot to mention my favorite part of the trip; this amazing ranch about 20-30 minutes before arriving to Girardot, make sure you don’t miss it:

ranch

“La Flaca” – Jarabe de Palo (Musica)

The name “Jarabe de Palo” is a little dubious as it translates to : “medicine from the stick”…

The group is originally from Spain but somehow described by Wikipedia as a Latin rock group. This song is already an oldy as it dates from 1996 and is the first big hit from this group. The other one of course is “Bonito” also to be found in another post on this page. “La Flaca” was writen after the group returned from Cuba where apparantly there are some nice flacas (skinny/good figured girls) to be found!

Alejandro Sanz and Shakira – Te lo agradezco pero no (Musica)

For a long time there have been speculations that Alejandro and Shakira (Colombiana) have a “special” relationship. They seem to get along well and have made some interesting videos together:

No idea what the purpose of this specific piece was, but if this was my girl…”te lo agradezco pero NO!!!”

Anyway, enough gossip; again a great song of them both that translates into something like “Thank you, but no…” :

Check here for the translation of this somewhat sad song.