Holiday in Colombia (7): Pereira to Medellin

The next stage of our holiday in Colombia was a transfer from Pereira to Medellin. Now, as the crow (or, in this case, the condor) flies, the distance between these two cities is similar to that between Bogotá and Pereira. Howev er, Cox & Kings had decided that, while the journey to Pereira should be by air, the journey to Medellin should be by road.  

Our official Cox & Kings travel notes suggested that this was a journey that with stops would total approximately 5 hours. However, our guide Christian said that he had never made the trip in less than five and a half hours and it had been known to take up to 12 hours. He warned us that there would be road works involving inevitable delays, but that we should not worry when our driver overtook across double yellow lines when he could in order to maintain a decent speed. 

According to the Cox & Kings programme, we would set off at 9 am but, hearing about the likely travel time, the group decided that we should leave at 8 am. It was not the toughest road journey of my foreign travels (that was in Bolivia), but it was challenging enough. The entire route was single lane, climbing or descending steep hills, with constant tight bends and nearby precipitous drops.  But the scenery was spectacular and Christian helped us pass the time with mini-lectures on features of Colombia including history, politics, education and health. 

We made three stops: one for coffee; another because some of the group were becoming dizzy; and a third – at the Mirador del Pipina overlooking the mighty Cauca River – for an early lunch. The final stretch of our journey took over two and a half hours and we rolled up to our hotel in Medellin at 3.45 pm after a total time on the road of almost 8 hours. 

Located in the southeast of the city, the Hotel Poblado Alejandria is a modern establishment with 91 rooms – so no character but great WiFi.  


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