It’s been a busy two days of moving. I arrived in Medellin last night, via Panama. When we landed in Panama City I thought that we must have been extremely lucky to land because lightening filled up the sky around us as we taxied to the gate. Two hours later, storm still raging, I figured there would be no way we would take off again, however the Panamans are expert lightening-flyers apparently are are “quite used to this”. So, back on the plane I got, and off to Medellin. Flying in lightening and clinging to the side of a mountain in a speeding tin can dodging semi trailers has a profound effect on an anti-dogma person like me… I start praying with the Spanish lady fingering a rosary ahead of me and locking eyes with every statue of Mary Magdalena along the highway, grateful to whoever lights the candles for her on a regular basis.

I left Medellin this morning for Salento, and arrived around 6pm. As I walked the streets with my backpack, looking for a hostel to stay in, I was really surprised how busy it is. Not quite the quaint and hidden little town I hoped it might be, but I’m excited to go running in Valle del Corrora in the morning – home of Colombia’s famous wax trees, 30m tall.

I’ve known this for a while, but the last two days have served as a reminder my dirty backpacker glory days are well over. I might still be dirty and I do carry a backpack, but the glory has vanished. Colombia seems to have its share of more mature travelers (over 25), though last night the party crowd of university students reminded me of that joke about how you always feel like you’re 20 until you meet 20 year olds and then you’re like “Nope. Never mind. I’m 30 (almost).” Further separation from the glory days arrived this morning in the form of an upset stomach which I’ve been battling with all day – what happened to my third world digestive & immune systems?! They’ve abandoned me already. On top of that, I was separated from my iPod on the very first day of my trip, likely never to be seen again. Amateur. This means I won’t have photos of my own until I replace it… sorry.

Salento doesn’t look like it will be the home base I planned it to be, and I’m now considering renting a house in Santa Marta for a month instead. Coffee plantations, cool breezes, rolling green hills or beaches, diving and suntan lines? Decisions are so hard sometimes.