The festivities of the Salsa Congress concluded, I spent the next few nights seeing friends for the last time – going out to dinner with Milena and visiting Alejandra at her new apartment for home-cooked pasta primavera.
She had an amazing view of the city from her balcony and I liked the way the sliding glass door ran almost the full length of the balcony so you could really open up the apartment to the outside.
Astrid had suggested La Rumbantela on Calle 33 as the spot for my goodbye party July 15th since we both wanted there to be salsa dancing involved!
Earlier in the day, I went to the gym for the last time and said goodbye to my trainer, Camilo.
On the way back, I stopped into the place where I got my hair buzzed short every week for 5,000 COP and said goodbye as well.
I met up with Lily at Poblado metro for one last cerveza, and said goodbye to her too.
And then I arrived on time for my own party, but before anyone else was at the bar! People soon began to congregate on a nearby bench.
When we reached critical mass, we headed inside and proceeded to take over the back of the bar.
Once inside, I realized La Rumbantela would’ve been a cool place to go dancing more often.
I had become so accustomed to El Eslabon Prendido and Cien Fuegos that I’d not tried to discover new places. Better late than never.
Behind the bar were stacks of vinyl records, but it seemed as though all the music was run off a laptop.
The walls were adorned with the names and pictures of salsa legends, the names and music of whom I am slowly getting to know.
As more people continued to arrive, I felt happy to be surrounded by so many new friends.
Attendees included Maira who rented me a room for 4 months.
Martin who I met my first week in Medellin and lived with for a few months, his girlfriend Joanna.
Astrid who inspired me to go out dancing as much as possible.
Jesusa, Diana, Sebastian and Lina from Couchsurfing.
Henry from Poorbuthappy and his friend Elena.
Alejandra who I met at Le Pub de Octavia on opening night and her friend Paola.
And Casey who runs a travel company in Costa Rica and was scouting out Medellin for it’s business potential.
I was looking forward to dancing salsa with Maira, and it turned out she definitely knew what she was doing.
I had assumed too much, but she explained that she can dance to all the typical genres of music, it’s just that salsa wasn’t her favorite.
My last dance of the night, I believe, was with Astrid. I pulled out all the moves I knew, and Astrid had the skill and style to make it all look good.
When it was all over, I received a surprising round of applause as everyone had been watching us.
Then Maira and I called it a night and shared a taxi back to Envigado for some much deserved sleep.
It was the perfect ending to my time in Medellin – lots of dancing, friends, and beer.