Parque Nacional del Café


Flores extrañosArco Iris

On the 28th, we journeyed to the nearby Parque del Café, which is a themepark—with rides and shows—for the coffee bean, by hopping on a bus and promptly going the opposite direction, thus effectively extending the trip by an hour. I comforted myself by reminding myself that I do that even in my own country (once in Brooklyn en lieu of an interview, and not familiar with the city at all, I jumped on the subway and ended up in the orthodox Russian Jewish section somewhere in the opposite direction (Brighton Beach?), instead of Manhattan).

The Parque del Café is fairly large, with a little introductory sterile museum section devoted to the history of coffee and its methods of consumption and production, and then a large food court, some rides, and a large walking section of the park where you can look at flowers, coffee, bamboo, and other more natural attractions. Apparently the Colombians mainly enjoy only the food and ride sections, as we only saw maybe 2 other people on the walk around the natural areas. It had been drizzling lightly during the walk, and we were treated to a beautiful arco iris (rainbow), as well as a squadron of squawking wild parrots flapping about the sky (apparently parrots have to squawk constantly whilst flying). And then suddenly, at the end of the day, as we were wading through packs of schoolchildren on an outing back to the teleférico (cable car, which took you from the entrance down into the food court/rides area), it began raining heavily. By “raining heavily”, I mean a torrential monsoon downpour. We stood in the middle of the teleférico in a puddle of water trying to keep under the tiny roof, and the side of each of us that faced outwards got completely soaked through. We were also apparently the only people in the park who actually brought an umbrella, so we weren’t as soaked as everyone else. It’s a strange thing here—it rains nearly every day (though not quite as heavily as it did that day), yet no one carries an umbrella. When it begins raining, most people can be found standing along the sides of the street in doorways and restaurants, waiting for the rain to pass (if it passes).

We managed to hop on a bus back to Pueblo Tapao, the little town near the finca, but still had to walk the long road back in thunderous rain from the street out to the finca, and got completely soaked through by the time we made it back. It was also getting dark, and as we were trotting back trying to avoid deep puddles of mud, I thought I was tripping out when I saw a brief light flashing in the bushes out of the corner of my eye. Turns out that it was a luciérnaga (firefly).

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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