Up, up and away.

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Monday, February 20, 2012

Medellin is surrounded by hills, nestled and sheltered by them, high up enough to create a spring climate all year.  The city sprawls out up the side, accessed by a series of Gondolas.  These are free to ride, as you only need to pay the Metro fare to reach them.  Actually built as public transport, they've also become something of a tourist attraction in their own right.  This is therefore on the agenda for today.

As I've mentioned before I've never been one for heights.  I've managed gondolas before, but I've never been really comfortable.  I've just sat there with a perma-grin on my face, hoping I was doing enough to disguise the fact that I'm shitting myself.  There are six surf dudes and me piling into this little cabin, so my relaxed facade is working overtime.

"You can open the doors", say's one, trying to pull the doors apart as we lurch away from safety of the platform and out over thin air.

"Let's start rocking it"  comments one, just before swaying himself from side to side in an effort to be cool.

"You'd only break a few bones for this height" chimes another.

Needless to say this isn't doing anything for my confidence, but I focus on taking some decent pictures, utiliing the camera to hide my grimace.  Pretty soon the scene unfolding below and around us has distracted my fear.  The houses and shacks are built up the hillside, squashed in to maximise the amount of homes needed.  It's incredible to think that people can live here, in corrugated iron sheds on stilts, and breeze block single room buildings.  The further up and out we travel, the more the dwellings become a shanty town, with no room to swing a cat, and somewhere you wouldn't want to be wandering at night.  The irony is I'm happy to be safely 50ft up and out of reach, and this is the middle of the day.

As much as it was an interesting experience, I'm thankful to get my feet back on the ground, and hopefully my big sigh of relief doesn't betray my fear too much.  I'll take my chances on the streets.

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