Category: Colombia, 2020

Guitars, Ceramics and Cooking

February 4.

Very good breakfast with a great view at the lodge.

Ana, one of Brian’s business partners joins us and we hop in the car to head to the town of El Carmen. Carmen is famous across Colombia for its tradition of producing high-quality, handmade and hand-painted ceramic wear. The tradition has been passed down for generations. We head to a small factory called Gratitud Artesanal, run by a master ceramicist named Bernardo. We meet him and then are guided through the entire process by a lovely young woman named Elisabeth Gallegos Quintero, who is a talented painter and now a ceramicist. Not only do we see the entire process, though, we participate in each step of the process, which is great fun, and makes the several hours we spend there fly by. Brian and Ana are both very familiar with the process, and comment as we go along.

Elizabeth shows us photos of several plates she designed for a client. Carol and I love them and commission Elizabeth to design some plates for us.

From the ceramics factory, we drive to lunch at Con Tradicion, where we are served gourmet Colombian food from an internationally traveled chef, right in Marinilla. Brian and Ana are absolutely delightful companions. Ana is a trained veterinarian and plans activities for guests at the lodge.

After lunch, we drive to Marinilla, a typical Antioquian pueblo not yet discovered by tourists. Marinilla is known as the “Sparta of Colombia” for the enthusiasm and valor of soldiers from the area during the war for independence from Spain. We walk through the town a bit with Ana. I get to take a few photos of some of my favorite subjects, doors, windows and walls.

 Marinilla is also home to one of Colombia’s most famous and best guitar factories. We are given exclusive access to the factory to learn about the production of guitars, and the story of the family that after decades, still runs the factory. We spend only about half an hour there, but it is worthwhile.Afterwards, we drive back to Cannúa and Brian gives us a quick tour of the brick factory they built on his property of which he is very proud, because of its favorable impact on the environment.After taking a little time to relax, Carol and I have massages. After all, it’s been a tough day.

We have a terrific and very creative chef’s tasting menu. Bit chilly, but they bring a pancho and pillows to make the chair backs more comfortable. Very cute waitress.

Another quite delightful and unusual day.

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