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murillo

I drop out of the clouds into Murillo, a tiny, charming town that sits at almost 3000 metres in the shadow of Los Nevados.

Murillo - the place has a sleepy, timeless, slightly enchanted air.

The architecture is distinctive..and stripy!

Colourful, too.

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Kids on bikes race around and around the village square.

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A hiker I met on the road told me that there is a place – called Casa Murillo – in Murillo that offers accommodation free of charge. It seems like such an unlikely business model that I decide I have to check it out.

Casa Murillo does indeed provide accommodation and, if it's not free of charge, it's pretty damn cheap. Casa Murillo was set up as a foundation to protect and investigate the wildlife of the paramo of Los Nevados and historically housed people who were conducting relevant studies of one sort or another in the area. Recently, it has affiliated with the local council and its current mission is to develop and promote sustainable tourism in and around Murillo.

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The walls sport environmental posters of one sort or another.

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Striking and stripy architectural details abound in Murillo interiors, too.

Casa Murillo has a productive organic garden...

...tended to by the resident caretaker.

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Current residents include these three climbers and mountaineers who are researching a plan to developt climbing and adventure sports in the park...

... and Brian, whose exact role remains vague to me - although it is clearly key. Brian takes me under his wing, stealing strawberries from under the caretaker's watchful eye for my breakfast and then taking me to view hummingbirds congregate and fight for territory...

... at a prolifically flowering shrub opposite the town petrol station. Will you look at this bird! The long-billed hummingbird has a beak that is longer than its body. When it lands it has to keep its bill straight up in the air so that it doesn't fall off its perch.

I could have stayed a lot longer in Murillo.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Will Kemp | April 13, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Beautiful!

    The hummingbird must sleep with its beak up in the air then. Weird little thing!

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