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Pereira, Colombia – Recuperation, Farm, And A City

by on February 29, 2012

in Colombia, Happy Nomad Tour, Latin America

I arrived in Pereira by bus after being both robbed and sick the night before. I was still sick upon arrival, having had some salted crackers and watching them run right through me.

Arriving In Pereira

Lina And I

Lina And I

I stayed with Lina in Pereira and she was an amazing Couchsurfing host. She was, by far, the best at maintaining contact and arranging meeting points, etc. It was a welcome change from the disorganization I’ve become accustomed to.

She also took great care of me while I was sick and I am forever grateful for that!

I met her at the bus station and we took a Chiva up the road to where she lives. Chivas are traditional aisle-less buses that aren’t very common in Colombia anymore – apart from the souvenir shops where you can buy mini-Chivas of all different sizes.

Colombian Chiva

Colombian Chiva

Me In A Chiva

Me In A Chiva

Inside A Chiva

Inside A Chiva

It was a fun experience though all I wanted to do was go and lie down and rest. So that’s what I did. The first day I spent horizontal trying to recover from whatever bug was causing me so much discomfort.

Stirling, Scotland Postcard

Stirling, Scotland Postcard

Interestingly, Lina just came back from living in the UK for some time and she had a postcard from Stirling, Scotland on her desk. I sent the same one to my parents back in 2005 when I lived in Scotland! Braveheart is one of my favorite movies and Stirling, home of the Wallace Monument, was my first stop upon arriving in Scotland.

The Farm

The second day I took a tour of the farm where Lina lives. She rents the upstairs part of the house and the family below has a farm where they grow a few crops and raise chickens for consumption.

On the farm is a very aggressive rooster. He will run around and peck at your ankles. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The Aggressive Rooster

The Aggressive Rooster

Rooster Climbing A Tree

Rooster Climbing A Tree

Lulo (Fruit)

Lulo (Fruit)

Beautiful Birds

Beautiful Birds

We saw chickens that were 4 days old. There were 150 of them! Sadly, during the day they need to be woken up hourly so they’ll eat. Otherwise they’ll die. Under the care of a mother, this process is natural.

When a chicken is ready to be harvested, it is knocked unconscious, hung upside down, the throat is slit, and the blood is drained. There is a machine that removes the feathers from the chicken. It only takes about 30 seconds. Then, the rest, you can imagine.

Baby Chicken Pen

Baby Chicken Pen

Where The Chickens Become Food

Where The Chickens Become Food

De-Feather Machine

De-Feather Machine

On the farm they also have two naturally growing coco plants, the plan that gives the world cocaine. There is a lot of chemical treatment between coco leaf and cocaine though. Since my stomach didn’t feel good, he said to eat a few leaves and he gave me a branch from another plant and told me to make tea out of it. I tried both. I don’t know if it helped, but I did feel better as the day went on.

Coca Plant

Coca Plant

Coca Plant

Coca Plant

Remedy For My Stomach

Remedy For My Stomach

Remedy For My Stomach

Remedy For My Stomach

Drinking My Remedy

Drinking My Remedy

Walk In The Neighborhood

My Lunch

My Lunch

That afternoon we went for a small walk to explore the neighborhood, buy some water for me at the grocery store, and have a late lunch. This lunch was the first meal I had since getting sick and although I didn’t finish everything, it felt good to be able to eat again.

On the walk I discovered Colombia’s Jeep transport. They basically serve the same purpose as pickup trucks did in Central America.

Jeep Transport In Colombia

Jeep Transport In Colombia

Jeep Transport In Colombia

Jeep Transport In Colombia

Interestingly, the owner of the farm also has an internet café just down the road. Pretty interesting contrast of the old and the new!

Internet Cafe

Internet Cafe

The City

On my third day in Pereira I explored the city a bit. Admittedly, I felt a bit uncomfortable after the robbery incident a few days earlier, but I didn’t let it stop me from getting to know the city.

In the end, there isn’t much to see. There’s a Plaza Bolivar, as there is in every Colombian city. There are a few shopping centers, and that was about it. It’s not a touristy city, but that was ok with me. It was nice to see a normal Colombian city in the Zona Cafetera/Coffee Zone.

Street Market In Pereira

Street Market In Pereira

Church In Plaza Bolivar

Church In Plaza Bolivar

Church

Church

Cool Statue

Cool Statue

Other

A strange name for a store

G-Spot Clothing

G-Spot Clothing

This gas station felt compelled to hang a sign saying “The high price of gasoline has never been our fault.” My hosts suggested maybe they hung the sign because someone threatened to kill them because of the high price…

High Price Of Gasoline

High Price Of Gasoline

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

donald peterson February 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

hello Adam, I read with interest your visit to Pereira, CO. I will be there soon and I have a couple questions please. First, what was the “remedy” you drank for your illness and where did you find it? Second, what and where was the situation when you were robbed? (I want to avoid problems). I have also been robbed walking the streets of Medellin, mostly due to my own indiscretions. Also, was the weather oppressive in Pereira? Thanks a lot for posting your experiences. Donald Peterson in Mexico.

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