Friday, March 21, 2008

Boquía

Walking down a hill and across a few bridges built over the Boquía Stream, I passed a bamboo forest and a few small campgrounds with tourists who had come for the holiday weekend (Semana Santa). It began raining hard but I had my umbrella. By the time I reached Boquía it let up.


Boquía is Salento’s sister town. In 1830, Simón Bolívar and others traveled through present-day Salento on their way from Popayán to Bogotá. At this time most people lived in Boquía. Then around 1854 the Quindío River flooded and Boquía was destroyed. The survivors rebuilt their homes in Salento, which is higher up in the mountains.


Yesterday morning at breakfast, a waitress recommended I visit Boquía. The surrounding mountains as well as the buildings in Boquía aren’t quite as beautiful as Salento, but are still charming. Many visitors camp near the Boquía Stream, which joins the Quindío River in the downtown (the downtown is just a few buildings, restaurants, and campgrounds). It is here that I saw people setting up tents, playing in the river, and gliding from a zip-line. It was an escape from the city life, or even life in a normal town. Many hippies come to this area and stay in one of the cabins at Hospedajes Exoticos. They are more like hippie huts or as one of them is called on the brochure the owner handed me: the Hippie Hilton. The owner spoke English and reminded me of a character on the Simpsons. As I was leaving, he said, “Don’t worry, be happy.” I was happy to be catching a bus back to Salento. I wanted to enjoy my last night in Eje Cafetero with friends I had made at the hostel.

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