From Kasilof, Alaska - July 7, 2013
I arrive in Manizales after Salento, on my way back to Bogotá. The city is part of the Coffee Growers Axis, called Eje Cafetero, along with Armenia and Pereira. Manizales is a city of coffee production and higher education.
The city is rainy, cloudy, built onto high hills with narrow winding streets. I am alone here.
In my hostel I decide to hike to the Nevado de Santa Isabel volcano, the sister of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano that is currently spewing ash. I am unprepared for this hike, having left much of my gear in Bogotá. I hike in shorts. The summit of the volcano is a massive field of ice, shrouded in fog and freezing cold. The guide and I wait in the crazy as the third member of our party, a crazy man from Israel ascends into the mist to cover the last several hundred meters to the summit.
We eat lunch at the house of a farmer in the mountains. A woman serves agua de panela, (hot water with cane sugar), homemade cheese on bread, and a rice based soup while we sit and play with her child.