After asking a fellow traveler about things to do in Medellin. She highly suggested that I visit Guatape, a small town on the outskirts of Medellin. Although you can visit Guatape on your own, I chose Toucan Tours because of the cheap price. Round trip tour was only $26 US dollars.
Toucan Cafe and Tours had 2 pickup locations. I quickly became excited when I realized that the pickup location was within walking distance from my Airbnb. At 8 am, I arrived on the bus and we headed to our first destination. We arrived at an open-air cafe for breakfast. Included in the price of the meal was an arepa with cheese on top accompanied by coffee or hot chocolate. I ordered scrambled eggs on the side with my breakfast for an additional $1.50.
Next, we stopped in a small town called Marinilla which is a small part of Antioquia.
I happened to look up and saw a huge tree with an image of Jesus carved inside. I was intrigued as I had never seen anything like it. Its called Nazareno del Yarumo Blanco by Jesús Alberto Arbeláez.
Parroquia la Asuncion- A church in the middle of the park
The Penol of Guatape
Next, we arrived at El Penol de Guatape. The stone is made of mica, quartz, and feldspar. The rock was worshiped by the indigenous Tahami people.
As our bus rolled closer to the El Penol I became frightened and doubted my ability to actually climb the rock. I told myself you don’t have to climb the rock you could just take pictures from below.
These thoughts were exacerbated in my head due to the message I received via FaceBook messenger from Jehosophat. I had known him for several years but had not spoken with him in over 5 years.
Jehosophat: how are you?
Tiffany: I’m doing ok, haven’t heard from you in years!
Jehosophat: Well you still look the same, FAT 8 years later.
Tiffany: You are dumb, ignorant and you should never talk to women about there weight
Jehosophat: I’m only joking and I’m fat myself.
Tiffany: Yes you are fat, so stop trying to put me down because you are unhappy with your size.
Needless to say, I blocked him. After thinking about the message I was even more determined to climb the steps.
I had to climb 740 steps, yes you read correctly 740. I only snapped photos every 100 steps but I probably stopped every 15-20 steps.
I’m not going to lie, it was super difficult and often times I wanted to quit and turn around. I kept encouraging myself and prayed to God to give me the strength to keep climbing forward. The great thing was everybody had to stop for breaks along the way so I didn’t feel too bad. As you progress to the top, you begin to see the beautiful view and can enjoy souvenir shopping.
Remember if you go up, you must come down. I had to climb down 740 winding steps and I didn’t take any breaks. Needless to say, my legs felt like jelly and I was never happier to see a chair.
We went on a small boat ride, it was cool to be on the actual water that only hours before I could see from above.
On the boat, I met a couple from Cali, Colombia who wanted to practice there English with me. I love traveling solo because allows you to meet new people.
After the boat ride, we had the opportunity to walk around the city to shop for souvenirs. The small town was great because it had colorful paintings on the walls.
I’m so glad I made it to the top, the view at the top was gorgeous. This was not only a physical lesson but a life lesson. We all get discouraged and want to stop but we never know what is waiting for us at the top. Don’t let anyone discourage from doing things because of how much you weigh. I’m a plus size women who climbed 740 steps, could you have made it to the top?
When people try to make you feel inferior due to your size. What do you do?? Climb 740 steps! Weight is only a number!