|This is where we'd hoped to get yesterday but due to lateness we obviously failed. Actually, when things like this happen it's 'lucky' in that Plantation House where we'd planned to stay was booked. When we arr at 8 am they could not guarantee room. Since we wanted to hike the valley E of Cocora to see the unique wax palms - tallest palms in world, up to 60 m.
About Cocora Valley
We left our bags and headed to the plaza (short brkfst at Rincon de Lucy...good, cheap eats) and 9:30am jeep ride to trailhead. Lots of hikers - met Aimara (German in Lima working on Phd in water resources). Suzanne (also Germany) a volunteer at cloud forest recovery farm, degree in Poli Sci and History, & Oren (Israel) traveling after military service - like so many we meet from Israel (see pics).
Met another longterm traveling couple, Oliver & Dagimar...good conversations and exchg of info on places to go & see.
Very interesting talking to Suzanna who is a poli sci/history student from Germany...Colombia is going to have elections May 30 and there is a field of 6! Two are really the ones in competition, one is from Urube's party (conservative) and the other is the mayor of Bogota, who is a professor by background, and has done tremendous things for the capital city in both making it safer but also, addressing the infrastructure issues with major transport investments.
More About Antanas Mockus
We witnessed a very vibrant, and totally happy, it seemed to us, populous...but maybe that is just a characteristic of Colombians in general. If neither Antanas Mokus & Santos, the two major candidates don't win in the first round, then the second round will probably be controlled by Santos, the candidate of Urube, since he will control most of the media and govt positions to hand out. Two others, Petro & Noami Sanin, are also major players in minor parties who will no doubt be 'king makers' in a second round. This is a very important election for Colombia because it has just recently come out of a very turbulant period with drug traffikers (still working, but not with revolutionaries). Urube rewarded the military with $$ for every revolutionary killed, so rumor has it that the army went into small villages deep in the jungles and wherever they could get away with it, put military uniforms on men and then kill them claiming they were 'revolutionaries'. Some say many, many innocent, poor people have died in the last 6 years but no real proof as yet! The election will perhaps reflect how much popularity Urube's party has in the rural areas.
Toured Plantation House grounds...
Grow Your Own Coffee
Info About Plantation House Hostal