Destination: Armenia Quindío
Destination: Armenia Quindío
Armenia is a big town filled with lots of things to do and lots of people. Driving through the town was beautiful just like everything else I had seen so far. Of course the street is curvy and people are driving as what I would consider “like a crazy person” but it is normal to them. Driving in the middle of the road is also common for a lot of cars, busses and even motorcycles especially if they are trying to pass someone else on the road.
We were told at the hotel the other day that going to Panaca is a good choice when visiting Armenia Quindío. We had no idea what Panaca would be or what it was until we got there. All we had was an idea that it would include shows including animals and a lot of walking. When we arrived it was just that. Tons of walking and I mean tons almost like you were at the zoo but worse because of all of the hills you had to go up and down.
Walking through the park we saw birds of all sorts of colors and ducks as well as geese that were all multicolored. It felt more like a hot rainforest than anything else. As we walked up hill we arrived at our first show which had everything to do with cows. We walked in, showed them our little bracelets and took our seats. As we waited to see what kind of show this would be or what would happen a little guy came out with a giant microphone. Needless to say he was not small nor loud because we were sitting up high on the bleacher stands and the speaker was right behind me.
The man started speaking in Spanish and at first that was intimidating to me because not only was he speaking rather quickly, I could hardly understand him. I felt doomed like my four years of Spanish in college was not good enough or significant enough for being in a Spanish speaking country. However, I doubted myself too soon. I was able to pick up a few words in the sentence and used his cues to figure out what he was saying.
All of a sudden the crowd goes wild and he is screaming at this point and all I see are cows being walked out of behind a gate. These are not any ordinary cows, they are cows used for meat and also cows used for milk. They are not our typical American cows they are solid brown cows, black and white speckled cows but not spotted like back at home. It was interesting to see all of the different cows. We also saw llamas come out with little kids riding them and it almost started to feel like a mini fiesta with these animals. These animals however, were show animals because they did tricks and the cows’ owner was able to get him to lay down which was cool to see.
We kept walking after that show finished and proceeded to the next show. Quite honestly I could not tell you what that show was about nor did I want to even pay attention because it felt so scrambled and there was a lot of yelling going on and a horse laying down under a blanket with a man and a pig trying to climb into the actor’s suitcase. This show needless to say seemed like a hot mess. We stopped after that show for some lunch.
We came across what they call “Frisby” and it was fried chicken on the bone kind of like a KFC in the states but way better. This place was located right outside the show but still inside the park grounds and everyone was ordering it. We assumed it was good and did the same. We sat on the picnic benches waiting for our order to be ready and in the meantime I took some pictures of more cool birds.
The food arrived and we were very hungry. This chicken was delicious and we all devoured it. Something interesting about being in Colombia and eating fried chicken is that they wear plastic gloves on their hands when they eat it because they do not want to get their hands dirty. I thought this was unique because in America, all we do is eat with our hands and get them dirty. They did this so it saved them time by taking a trip to the bathroom afterwards to wash their hands.
After we finished lunch we sat around talking about what we had planned next. However, I was not feeling going to another show. Cameron and I felt out of place because he has no experience with Spanish and I only had a little bit. It was hard being in a Spanish speaking place where it was constantly only Spanish and you had no idea what was going on around you. The best part of it though was the experience because we learned a lot about ourselves.
We decided to get back in the car and head to RioSucio which was my dad’s friends hometown. This was about a 3-4-hour drive back through the mountains to get there. After overlooking the small towns many times throughout the drive I ended up falling asleep and woke up in time to see RioSucio from the top of a mountain while driving. It was getting dark outside and I could see the town lit up pretty well from where we were driving and I couldn’t wait to finally get there.