Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Machetes, Wood and Lights in the Mountain

The country is perfectly situated in location to offer weather that is just on the cusp of Autumn all the time. The days are warm without being too hot or muggy, the nights are cool and sweet. My driver decided to take us up the wending mountain roads as the sun set to Machete Park, a park he has been coming to since he was a child. 

The colors are neon light and sweet. The taste of instant coffee is a trigger of memories of other countries that I have loved, and little parks on winding roads. We laugh and listen to the local singer who puts on her performance most nights, there to help the local retailers with their sales. She performs like a vaudevillian, like a burlesque singer but with all the trappings of perfect country modesty. She sings her dress and dances, skips around the tables, laughing and joking with the small crowd that has gathered to drink coffee and eat small plates of food in the dimming evening light. 

In the park we sit for almost an hour, just enjoying the music and the coffee and the cool breeze coming up the mountain before we push off to our next location. Hector winds us into a town hanging onto the edges of the Andes, a place he wants me to see, old dark bar that feels like it was grown out of the trees, rather than made of cuts of woods. Hector explains to me in Spanish, and while I'm a bit slow, I followed. Hector is  fan of the old things, the old bars built hundreds of years ago out of polished pieces of wood taken from the mountains. Hector is like the places he takes plots for our journey, a product of his time and place, deeply connected to his country. 

We drive form the bar forwards and up more mountains until we come finally to an old grill at the top of a mountain far out into the country farmlands. We eat sausages and chickens and potatoes and talk about life and the plans for tomorrow. It's practically midnight when we pull to a stop at the top of the mountain to look out over the city of Pereira, sparkling lights in the valley of the Andes mountains. I sleep exhausted sleep and prepare for the adventures of my last day upcoming. 

















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