Monday, March 2, 2009

Fonda, El Retiro.

In central Colombia, a fonda is traditionally a place where mule trains carrying the coffee harvest would stop and rest during their long travels. There they would fuel up on food and aguardiente, a popular Colombian liquor.

Today, fondas are still common in the Colombian highlands and maintain their traditional country decor. They are popular watering holes for locals, but there are also plenty of upscale fondas for city dwellers looking for a rural throwback. I found a few nice fondas on a Sunday afternoon in El Retiro, a small town about an hour east of Medellín. Ranchers and farmers chatted while and locals played cards. They were in really good spirits, greeting the foreign visitor with handshakes and smiles and sending me off with a few small gifts (a toy ceramic Colombian bus and an old out-of-print 200 peso bill).


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I'm a freelance journalist based in Medellín, Colombia, developing my photography skills by posting regular photo reports on the country. For more information, visit:

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