This is it, Medellin. Home of the man who single-handedly fueled disco, kept models thin, gave rap 80% of its content and Eric Clapton the only song of his I can stand, Pablo Escobar.
The groundwork had already been set prior to our arrival. We heard of a place of high crime, late parties, and a history that keeps it forever associated with narcotics. In fact the first night we were in our hostel we spoke to an individual that told us about another traveller that had been robbed at gunpoint, two blocks from where we were staying, at 6pm. For anyone that lives far enough from the equator to think that might not be in broad daylight (winter), think again. The very thought of it actually began to excite me. I went over all three karate moves I learned when I was 12 in my head. I wasn’t really interested in being involved in any street violence but I wouldn’t mind observing some from a far! All of this being said, it made the decision easy on what to do with our first day in town. Not knowing the area, not having anyone we know to show us around, not speaking any Spanish……. not seeing any reason why we shouldn’t take a nap and head out on the town!
Zona Rosa is the “happening” place in Medellin. Comprised of around 25 to 100 bars, the actual number is debatable (between Sally and I) and frankly if you really want to know, google that shit. Regardless, it is a ton of bars, clubs, and people ready to enjoy the night. We tipped back a bit at the hostel to save money and headed out. Walking down Calle 10 you can feel the bass and hear the people before Zona Rosa even comes into view. We did a full walk of the area to scope out our first watering hole before posting up. A reggae bar with a hip hop twist pretty much put us on house arrest. We sat down and started our attempt to get over our 16 hour bus ride hangover. We had heard that the party didn’t really get popping until 1am so we hadn’t even bothered to go out until 11pm. Early came and early went. Right on time came and right on time went (right along with our drinking budget). Still the Colombians are seated in groups, kicking back shots of the local brew Aguardiente (taste like Sambuca). At 1:30am we decided we might be at the wrong spot if we wanted to dance. We did a couple a loops around the immediate area (contributing to the unknown amount of bars) and couldn’t seem to find any place to unleash the sprinkler. Around 2am we were pretty impressed that nothing was going yet. “These guys must party late!” We made it to 3am and decided that if shit gets popping this late….. we might be better off just waking up early to party…
After speaking with a couple of people from the hostel, it turns out we were in the “bar” area of Zona Rosa.