A Fairytale Land

Trip Start Jul 18, 2011
Trip End Jul 16, 2012

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Flag of Colombia  , Quindío,
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One day in the not so sleepy town of Salento, in the Valle of Cocora, little (two tone) green riding jacket, the older sister of little red riding hood, set off into the woods of of  to visit her elderly frail grandmother. She was a little apprehensive, being only all too aware of the stories of the ginger bearded wolf-like man who was reputed to roam the woods, but grandma was in need of medicine and she was the only one able to make the trip. So off she set on the path, with her hiking boots on through the rough terrain, also traversed by horses, having to pick her footfall carefully all along the way. Some others were on the same route, but not being locals they soon fell by the wayside when the going got tough.
On she went traversing streams, over rough-hewn bridges, which ´Elf & Safety would no doubt have words about if they existed, going deeper and deeper into the woods. Little did she know then but lurking in the woods, watching her every move was the ginger bearded wolf like man, sizing up his opportunity to pounce. The track started rising but on she went. It started to rain. Then out of nowhere a hoddle of hummingbirds of all different colours came and circled around her. At first afraid, she then became calm for she felt they wanted to help her. Then off they flew and she followed them. Not long after they lead her up a path and ahead she could see a light. Hopefully she could stop off to shelter till the rain passed. It was the hut of a kindly Acaime Natural Reserve keeper. However he was only minding the land for his boss who insisted on charging $3000k cop to anyone who entered his land, as passage. Little (two tone) green riding jacket obliged but the man, feeling sorry for her in her drenched two tone green riding jacket, offered her a nice hot bowl of drinking chocolate with a slab of campesino cheese. But he laid out two bowls in front of her, the second containing agua de panela (a sweet drink made from sugar cane). Little (two tone) green riding jacket enquired what the other bowl was for and the man told her that he always laid out a bowl of agua de panela for the ginger bearded wolf-like man, should he pass, hoping to satiate his thirst for human flesh long enough for him to conintue on his way.
What little (two tone) green riding jacket didn’t know was that  the ginger bearded wolf-like man was almost invisible to the human eye, being highly adapted to keeping himself in a humans blindspot  and out of their awareness. The only times he has been spotted was when he was captured in a photograph, not being able to evade the truth of the lens.
The hummingbirds danced and played about in the rain, fluttering their little wings a thousand times a second or something like that and chirping gaily. The rain soon passed however and little (two tone) green riding jacket was soon on her way again. Grandma´s house shouldn’t be much further than this she thought, but she still had to climb up through the cloud forests with their eerie haze. Grandma needed her medicine though and she was her only hope, so on she climbed. But the trees had eyes. She was not alone in the cloud forest. She started to move faster, spurring herself onwards with thoughts of grandma ill in bed waiting for her medicine. She was out of breadth but daren’t not stop until she reached the top. She could hear the cows. She came out of the trees and could see a light from grandma´s house just up through the clearing but there was still a bit of a climb to do. She clenched her teeth and ran as fast as her we grey clad legs would carry her. She could see the gate, she could almost touch it. Only a little more, just a few more feet. She was there. She pushed the gate open and ran through up to the house and into the house and closed the door behind her and bolted it shut. She gasped for breadth, taking huge gulps in the thin air of the high altitude, but she was safe now, for the moment.
There was still the trip back to the village, downhill through the forest of the giant palm trees, a much quicker and safer route, she thought. But she could feel the eyes of the forest penetrating her, she knew she was not alone and must make great haste home. Then she came up with a cunning idea, if she opened her umbrella, maybe she could deflect the ginger bearded wolf-like man´s gaze long enough, if he was watching, to get a head start down the track away from him. It worked a treat. Soon she was back on the main road and hailed a passing ´Willie´ jeep that had been sent out to pick up the non local backpacking trekkers who had become weary and dejected and in need of rescuing. She leapt with joy from the back of the jeep when they reached the town. She had made it, Grandma had her medicine and she was back home in the not so sleepy town of Salento, in the Valle of Cocora, safe and sound.

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