Today we got a late start for our trip to Guatape. Pronunced 'Guad a PAY'. Be sure to accent the last syllable or no one recognizes it. We start off from San Antonio to Rionegro. In Rionegro we can't find a bus to take us on to Guatape. There is not one single bus station in Rionegro but many scattered around the town. We walk from one to one and are finally directed to 'the galeria'. We don't know what the galeria is but keep following pointing fingers and waving arms to an area where they sell construction supplies. We are told this is the galeria. Finally with the help of a bus driver busy washing his bus we are allowed on a bus that we think will take us to Guatape,only to be discharged a few miles out of town to the side of the rode and waved to an underpass to catch another bus. No one under the bridge thought there was a bus to Guaape and we were about ready to try to hail a cab back to Rionegro when our bus appeared. It was an hour ride with beautiful scenery. When we finally arrived in Guatape we had only 2 hours before the last return bus....another story.
Guatape is a pretty vacation town situated along a huge lake, Embalse El Penol, that includes a hydroelectric dam generating 30% of Colombia's electricity. The house, shops and restarurants are painted in bright colors. I would love to return for several days and time for a boat ride on the lake, and maybe even the zip line that crosses it.
Our return trip was interesting also and at one time a bus driver dropped us off along the side of the road (after dark) waving his arm to some steps up to an exit ramp. But, low and behold, when we got to that deserted stretch of road a bus came right along to carry us into Rionegro! We made one more stop in San Antonio for our cupa de vino calianto in the restaurant with the fire pit.