45 years ago, Guatapé “emerged” from the water after EPM (Empresas Públicas de Medellín) sank most part of the village to build a hydroelectric complex –Colombian politicians have a boundless love for hydropower–. Reborn from the emerald green waters, Guatapé turned its sentimental historical tragedy into a new town that hides its magic into various and colorful street decorations.
Running away from our failed stay in Medellín, we decided to do a day-trip to two of Antioquia’s most famous places. A 2 hour bus ride took us to La Piedra del Peñol, there are a considerable number of theories about its origins, some a bit fanciful and others more correct, we listened to most of them before and after visiting La Piedra.
The bus left us 15 minutes away from where the real ascent begins. Then the “penny war” began, something you can see throughout Colombia, three men came to us offering horse rides to the entrance, three other offering moto-taxi; “no, thanks” we said, and we continued our walk.
The stairs of the pedestrian access were an uncompleted construction, a little more than half was just dirt and rubble. We reached the entrance, but we wanted to buy something to drink before going up –as expected, prices are double than any other shop or market, you should have seen Stefano’s face– we had to pay 4,500 Colombian pesos (almost $1.5) for a Gatorade that normally costs 2,200 (or $0.70).
The view from the top is astonishing.
We bought our entrances, looked at the enormous stone before us and we set out to climb the 740 steps. At 300 and something Stefano was already grumbling, but with some psychological motivation, a few photos of the landscape, some talking –about how we wanted to build our blog–, and a some pushing, we reached the steps 740. The view was astonishing, it was nature imposing itself over the hands of men. We took more pictures and a giant flying ant photo-bombed us.