16 Nov

Two weekends ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the XI Congreso Internacional del Colegio Nacional de Bacteriología conference November 4-7, Medellin, Colombia, with Adriana.  While the conference  was neat, and I had a chance to network with some professionals in the clinical arena, I really enjoyed our trip to Guatapé, around Medellín, and the Sunday Night Fiesta!

Guatapé is is a town and municipality in Antioquia Department, Colombia.[1] Part of the subregion of Eastern Antioquia. Guatapé is located in the outskirts of Medellín, bordering a reservoir created by the Colombian government for a hydro-electric dam, built in the late 1960s. This quaint town is the gathering place for “Las Vegas”, or the small farms of the area. It is also a growing area of recreation for citizens of Medellín, and aims to be a tourist destination for foreign travellers.  Also home to Pablo Escobar’s Fantasy Island! The island is in my pictures…but I don’t know how to point it out b/c it is kind of far away…anywho, you can now say you have seen it from a distance, too, lol (lake photos)!               More info: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatape)

THE LARGE ROCK w/ over 600 stairs i.e.: El Peñón de Guatapé (Spanish for “The Guatapé Rock”)[1], wrongly called El Peñol Stone (Spanish La Piedra de El Peñol, is a monolithic formation located at the town and municipality of Guatapé, 1km inside the city limits (86 km northeast of Medellín)in Antioquia, Colombia. The stone rises from the bottom of the hydroelectric dam of Peñol-Guatapé. This monolith was spotted as a border landmark between country farms and the two cities.  Really neat history, read more: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Pe%C3%B1%C3%B3n_de_Guatap%C3%A9)

At its highest part, on the rear (southeast side), it has an elevation of 2,135 metres (7,005 ft) over sea level. with an average temperature of 18 °C (64 °F). The “Peñón” has 185 cubic metres (6,500 cu ft) of rock mass and it is 385 metres (1,263 ft) long, with an approximate weight of (11,000,000 tons). It has some rock breaks, one of which was used for the construction of the 644 stairs that can be used to go to the top.

Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia, not to mention beautiful!  The people are known as “Paises” (Pie-says) and are extremely friendly and proud of there city.  The infrastructure was beautiful, as was their organization and public transportation.  I am really excited to come back here in the next week with Katie, so much to see and do!  I will write more about this city when I  upload pictures from my upcoming trip.  However, in the meantime, I highly suggest you check it out now: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medell%C3%ADn)

OH, the picture of the needle point hanging from four bars, points EXACTLY to the center point of Medellín – very cool!

The fiesta was held on the last night of the conference with a live salsa band, amazing buffet of Colombian cuisine, and not mention a steady flow of Aguardiente.  Great time!

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