Roberto Arango and Jose, here in Colorado Springs we miss you two guys immensely!

roberto arangoIt has been almost one month since Layla and I returned to Colorado Springs after our vacation in Colombia, and 2 months since we visited the small town located close by the high mountains called El Cocuy. The El Cocuy region is notable because these mountains are much more beautiful and spectacular than those found here in Colorado, and can be reached quite easily from Miami, Florida after a cheapie flight to Bogota and a mere 12 hour bus trip that well may be the most scenic bus ride you will ever go on.

Take all the hiking and mountain climbing equipment you will need because you probably cannot find it there in El Cocuy to purchase or rent. Maybe in the other small town nearby called Guican, though I rather doubt it?

We did not actually go into the highest area where the snow topped mountains are, because we had neither the time, equipment, nor patience to get in. Traveling with my 12 year old daughter, I had to take her needs into account, and climbing the highest mountains just was not what she had in mind at the time. Instead, she wanted to keep traveling with a 19 year British kid named Max, who was on a controlled and packed schedule that involved bussing off as quick as possible to meet up with another acquaintance.

What made the trip to El Cocuy most memorable to me was the hospitality of Roberto Arango and his friend, fellow musician Jose. After we got off the bus to El Cocuy, we managed to stumble across the plaza to an almost abandoned looking building that is in fact Roberto’s home, though he rents off beds to visiting travelers in need of a room for a week or a night. But he did not just rent us a room, but most enthusiastically offered to play us an on-the-spot concert, too! He and Jose were drinking some wine and were playing their songs and they continued playing for us their beautiful music for over an hour plus. You can see Roberto and Jose starting about 3 minutes into this youtube tape Around “El Cocuy” Mountains

Notice the paintings and beautiful garden in the background? Roberto Arango is also a very good painter and these are his works. In addition, he graduated with a degree in horticulture and in the inside plaza of his house was a full grown and beautiful garden! The paintings were way too large for us to cart back to the US, PLUS I was traveling while broke otherwise I might have tried doing just that. They were that good!

If you are interested in going to those high peaks around the area and want to get more info about what they are like, then just search Guican and El Cocuy on youtube to pull up some videos of those who have already done these treks. But for myself, the main reason to go back for me would be to revisit with my good friends, Roberto and Jose. Thanks, Guys, for having made our time spent with you the highlight of our visit to Colombia! Thanks, Roberto, and I hope to visit with you once again. And YES, Jose, your compact disc has been a big hit with my wife as I had thought it would be. She plays it constantly.

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