Thursday, April 22, 2010

Santa Fe De Antioquia Y La Puente Occidente

Santa Fe is the oldest town in the department of Antioquia where Medellin is located and before Medellin stole the spot light it was the capital. As soon as one arrives in St. Agustin you can see that this is old history. The modern construction boom, public transport, paved streets, non of that even made it here to this little colonial town that sits below Medellin. Due to its location it is also hot. Really hot. The whole day I was dripping with sweat, sunscreen and lord knows what else but I still loved it. We headed to the main square that has a feria selling crafts, fruits, and sweets local to the town. We tried a few and then hit up a local place for lunch. Josh went with the menu del dia (meatballs), I got the talapia, but Rox won best choice of the day with robalo, an amazing fish that I can't wait to order next time I see it.
We then headed out into the heat and slowly walked around the town. Everything was closed, and every museum we passed was permanently closed, but there were enough churches and little plazas to keep us occupied.
Rox told us a funny story about the monument below:
The guy on the top was a conquistador and in charge of Santa Fe de Antioquia at some point. He took a native wife who you can see below, and on the other side of the monument his Spanish wife is also memorialized in bronze.

However, when you take a closer look the story gets good. Even juicy. When the native wife found out about the Spanish wife she went into a rage and supposedly cut off her husbands penis, tesitcles and all according to the monument. You go girl..

local corn in one hand, husbands junk in the other

Josh and Rox on a typical street in the hot, lazy town
(the streets are deserted because EVERYONE is reclining in a chair watching the Barcelona game)

one of the five churches we saw in around six square blocks

Next, we got into one of the three wheeled motorized vehicles like the red one in the picture above. They fit three in the back, so we got into our chariot and headed for the Occidente Bridge. The bridge was built over the Rio Cauca and designed by Jose Maria Villa between 1887 and 1895. It was one of the first suspension bridges in the Americas and became a national monument in 1978 and now only small cars, our moto-taxi, motocyles, and bikes can traverse it.* According to our seven year old guide (who provided much more info than the guide book) Maria Villa was a drunk and also the architect of the Brooklyn Bridge. Who knew?

riding dirty

the bridge from one end (I know the science behind suspension bridges works out mathematically and all, but come on, this does not look like it should support anybody)

Rox goes first

another great success delivered to you by ten-second-timer

old bridge, old car

Josh finally gets his maracuya and lulo mix that Gabi suggested
and he is happy

nothing better on a hot afternoon than a juice on ice

our chariot returns over the bridge

This bus is called a Chiva - Chivas are used for pary buses, to tansport people, and to transport goods. And they do it in such style..

Our trip to Santa Fe was a great success. Yesterday, outside a museum, this kid was asking us questions for a survey he was doing for school and he was very surprised we didn't come back from Santa Fe the color of a tomate del arbol.

tomate del arbol

So we made it back tired, hot and in need of rest, but still white as ever. That night we went to an amazing salsa place where the band is a group of young people who apparently show up when it moves them. They don't practice and the roster is a little different evertime you go, and they play an amazing chaos of salsa. Josh and I did dance a surprising amount for how soar we still are from frisbee practice, and I'll like to say that by the end of the night we had a few steps down pat. We have a long way to go, but I'd say we've also come a long way from the first time we tried to dance salsa together in BA.

*Thank you to my Lonley Planet for historical info on the Puente de Ocidente that I couldn't remember on my own.

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