|Three nights at Hacienda Venecia a coffee plantation near Manizales OMG so beautiful so quiet and the coffee made by the staff on a simple machine even I could drink black the flavour was magnificent. Apparently Colombia exports all of its good coffee it's easier to get good Colombian coffee in Adelaide than it is in Colombia - but the hacienda keeps enough to please its clients.
The grounds are as you will see in the photos - the drive down to the hacienda on the other hand was really interesting - a very narrow dirt road with a number of hair pin turns and overgrown so that we were being brushed on both side of the truck as well as overhead - in a car or small van the road would be fine and on a motor bike not a problem but Yana is high (390) and long so....but we made it but when we headed out the next afternoon knowing that we would be back after dark a smaller bas was deemed to be a safer bet.
Our guide for Manizales - Milton - I do love these South American names - Milton, Wilson, Eric and Smithy - loves his city and i can see why although it is not perhaps the most beautiful city in the word it has a lot of character. Set on a ridge with the building spilling down both sides a lot of poverty and Dragoman supports a children's charity here where kids from mostly poor single mothers are given an education and the pregnant girls are fed and given nutrition guidance. On our arrival night we had a BBQ cooked by one of the better chefs from the city and with 4 different meat courses and some salad it was pretty good but the place we went to with Milton was really ordinary i had a local dish which consisted of a piece of dry corn bread topped with some very thin meat and grilled cheese not very inspiring. After our BBQ they put on a 5 piece local band to entertain us and of course some dancing was required. On of the instruments in vogue here looks like a giant cheese grater and is played with a metal 'pastry baster'.
On our second night we were 'fortunate' to be entertained with a huge electrical storm - I was inside all nice and cosy but quite a few of our group were camping and some of them thought it was pretty scary but the tents held up quite well with only one getting much water inside. managed to get two swims in the pool and spend a little time at the pool lazing - something which is becoming more important the longer I am on the road. Our wander through the coffee and a look at the workings of the Hacienda filled in the rest of our time there. Managed to score a few more mozzie or other insect bites to add to the collection I already have on my legs.