Lazy Sunday in Guatape

A couple of people had recommended a trip to Guatape as the thing to do on a Sunday so we decided to join the throngs and head out there. After a fairly lazy start to the day we caught the metro to the northern bus station and hopped on a bus for our 90 min trip.
Throughout our travels around Colombia we have noticed a lot of military and police patrolling the roads. Probably good news for us as without them I don’t think we would be here. Anyway we hadn’t been stopped yet but today the bus was and a dog came on and sniffed out a passenger. Luckily we had ringside seats and I have no idea how the guy got away with it but as he was told to turn his pockets inside out a package with white powder in it (a surprise in Colombia) fell on the ground. But just as Sarah and I thought we were going to see some excitement it appeared as though the policemen didn’t notice or didn’t care and let him get back on the bus! I feel they might have bigger fish to fry still here!
Guatape is a town sitting on a man made lake and the main noticeable feature straight away is a huge monolith dominating the skyline. It’s something quite unlike anything I had seen before.
Now I will be honest, there was an option to climb 659 steps to the top of the monolith but we were both feeling in a lazy Sunday mood and decided that our money was going to be better spent on drinks and some nibbles at a local restaurant with a great view out over the lake.
We got the impression that the area was a rich persons’ playground with plenty of nice houses and loads of speedboats, jet skis etc. It’s bad to think so stereotypically as to where the money has come from but I will again be honest and say that we did think the worst. Either way it was a beautiful sight and it wasn’t just gringos enjoying the sights we were massively outnumbered by Colombians.
After lunch next to the monolith we went into the town of Guatape proper. It was another Colombian town which seems to have stopped in time. Wonderfully colourful old buildings with 3D murals on their facades. We spent a good hour or so wandering around soaking it all in.
On the waterfront were lined at least a hundred market stalls and in front of those a zip line was set up and people were constantly flying down. On the water were about twenty “party boats” lined up and once each one was full the music was turned up and off they went! We wish we had decided to spend the night here as it looked as though the party was going to start!
Instead we joined the throngs going back to the city and just as we were approaching the city we were stopped by another stop point. This time it was an ID check and unfortunately our drivers licenses didn’t cut the mustard! We were escorted off the bus by a very nice policeman who was explaining something very carefully and patiently to us. We smiled and said we didn’t understand and after about five minutes he let us get back on the bus. There was a guy in the group who spoke good Spanish and he said that he wanted to see our passports to check that we were in the country legally.  
I think that after watching the locals deal with the stops the key is to be patient and quiet. I can only imagine who and what these guys have had to deal with so as they are essentially protecting me I think I might cut them some slack.
To top our lazy Sunday off we went back to El Social, our rustic place on the side of the road in el Poblado. Not nearly as many sights as Saturday night but still enough going on to amuse us while we gorged ourselves on sausages and patatas. T

You can’t miss this massive monolith on the skyline

The steps we decided not to climb. (Still feeling guilty)
The view we had from our restaurant for lunch.

Taking over the taxi.

The main square in Guatape.

Some shots from around the town.

All the colours around the streets were just spectacular.


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