en route to Manizales

Crumbling homes cling onto impossible inclines as their deteriorating walls struggle to support their own weight. Our bus slingshots around switchback curves over the crest and down into the fog looming over the green valley. The sun breaks through casting golden highlights on the terraced mountain sides. The driver seems to have physic abilities to predict oncoming cars as the swerves to pass trucks on the two lane road with blind corners at every turn.

The folds of the land have settled into their place like the soft ripples of a warm blanket laying crumpled on the bed. The texture created by the incredible variety of plants and trees makes the jungle indeterminably dense. The road that we are catapulting down and the few little shanty towns we pass are the only indications that humans exist in this place. The creamy layers of clouds compliment the sharp rise and fall of the mountains, leaving the valley in a hazy refraction of greys, whites, and blues.
Once at the bottom, the jungle releases its dense grip and the overgrowth opens into pastures of tall grass and individually distinguishable trees with low branches good for climbing. The fields are dotted with cows and modest fincas with meandering fences. The tall peaks that we just drove down look distant and lush in their purple shadows.
The little pueblo of La Pintada has the pleasure of gazing up at these hills everyday. This first glimpse at established development after tumbling through such perfect ruggedness is a nearly perfect example of Colombia as a whole...coexistance with natures most severe elements, perseverance against all odds.
The biodiversity of this place is unfathomable. You simply cannot imagine the extent of the vegetation without bearing witness to its grandeur. Even to stand in its presence it is hard to fully absorb the vastness. It is humbling to see so much plantlife coexisting to create such an intricate balance. This is Mother Natures gift at its finest. Inviting and terrifying all at once. It is wild yet with these pastures and towns built into the mountain sides, man has proven that it can be tamed. The late afternoon sun accentuates its vibrant colors and smooth shapes but the shadows cast doubts about any sense of understanding you may feel you have of this place. This mystery is what gives it such an intoxicating beauty. Our eyes are in awe of what we see and our hearts long to know it intimately but our minds struggle to wrap around it. It is astounding...

Purely enchanted, j

salud! David´s 21st
streetside with the locals