Our last stops in Colombia were the small town of Jardin (pronounced “hardeen”) and the mid-size city of Manizales, both in the mountains of Colombia’s central coffee-growing region.
Jardin was a vibrant place during Christmas week. Each day, its cafes and plazas filled up with more residents’ relatives visiting for the holiday (some from as far as the United States and Canada), including the lovely family we rented a room from.
Besides meeting lots of friendly people, highlights in Jardin included horseback riding, birdwatching, and paragliding high above the town. One of the most wonderful aspects of Jardin was how residents of the surrounding farms rode their horses into town at night to have a drink, talk to friends, and show off their horses’ unique “paso fino” gait to each other and the tourists. Alas, we never managed to get any pictures of them.
We had a much quieter New Year’s week in Manizales, focusing on work, with occasional outings to see some of the city’s mountain views and surprising modern sculptures.