To immerse myself in the luscious, green mountain scenery just one more time. To experience the worry free small-town-life. My journey through Colombia was winding down and this is what I wanted to do before leaving.
After a few days of mostly no fly weather and pleasant, but photographically forgettable stops, I made it to back to Zona Cafetera. I stopped in the tiny town of Jericó, one of those picturesque, almost fairty-tale-like places where everybody knows each other and people seem to actually care about the overall visual aesthetic of the pueblo... for most part.
Speaking of the visual aesthetic, besides the obviously colourful buildings and painted balconies, there's something that stands out to me about the way the Colombians preserve the feel of old towns in their country in general. There isn't any colourful signage, nor posters with company branding on any historical buildings. Even banks and phone companies have to abide by the rules. While their symbols are on buildings, they're generally kept to organic colours, in harmony with what's already existed for hundreds of years before. Good idea, from a photographic standpoint.
I arrived to Jerico in the afternoon. The town’s main plaza was buzzing with life. Children riding bicycles, people sipping coffee outside the numerous cafes and the elderly chatting to each other. It’s the sort of idyllic town to spend a week in, to just watch life and enjoy the surroundings. After all the talk of the dangers of larger towns and cities, it was so refreshing not to have to worry about walking around with all my gear at any time of day, without worries.
I got up early the next morning to shoot some aerials of the older, lesser used church with the Mavic. It was overcast, but, since the Mavic is so easy to setup I got it airborne anyway. Above is a short video showing you a bit of the beauty of Jericó and its’ surroundings.
Jericó is full of characters. Many of the men are coffee farmers and the outfit of the gentleman above is pretty much the uniform. You could say that I'm romantisising or exotifying the local culture, but in a world full of made-in-China Pokemon and Mickey Mouse t-shirts, there's something visually pleasing in seeing people dressed as they are in Jericó.
The residents of Jericó are used to foreigners and tourists. Although I never heard English during my three days here, a local shop owner swore that there are masses of foreigners in Jericó every day. The main point is that people are extra welcoming to foreigners. You want a picture of a lovely elderly lady with her dog, while she sips coffee? Not a problem.
I hung around the main square to get some candid shots of the men in the photo above, among others. They noticed me and invited me to “Come take a photo." I wasn’t too interested in the posed shots and asked if I can join them for a little while, on their way to their coffee plantations. They agreed. We chatted.
Luis Alberto is the man closer to the camera, the other is Umberto Flores. They are both proud residents of Jericó, fairly oblivious to much of what's happening outside of their world. The fact that I came all the way from Australia was pretty amusing to them. I accompanied the men through almost the entire town, till we got to a turn off onto a dirt road.
Back in Jericó I met Alonzo. Alonzo is a bit of a local celebrity. He's a cardamon farmer and has his own shop where he sells cardamon candies, cardamon seeds and everything else cardamon related. He didn't even have to talk me into buying some of the products, since I love cardamon, especially in my tea. Alonzo is also an entrepreneur, he's building an eco-resort on his farm land and he's already got connections to a European tourism agency to send people his way.
Just as the sun set, I flew the Mavic over Jericó for the final time. Though the town lit up, it was fairly dark. One thing about the consumer DJI drones is that they are not great at higher ISOs. I generally try to not go beyond ISO 400. The above image was shot at ISO 200 and 1 second shutter speed. Yes, the Mavic is also very solid at staying put long enough for longer exposures.
I left Jericó the next morning. The fog enveloped much of the spectacular landscape, just as it did when I entered Zona Cafetera. My destination after Jericó – Medellin. I'll leave my car there before I go back to Australia. I like Medellin as a city, it'll be nice to come back to, but more importantly, I'll have some work done to my car at a proper workshop.
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