In love with Colombia
Trip Start Jan 12, 2011
8Trip End Jun 21, 2011
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I´ve covered a lot of ground in Colombia since the last time I posted, and I´ve fallen so much in love with the land here, the people, the food... In fact, I feel so wonderful here (big news coming) that I´ve decided to stay a year or so and teach English in Bogotá! I´m heading to the city in about a week to find an apartment and I´ve been accepted into a course to learn to teach English, which begins on May 2nd
Alright, now that the big news is out of the way, I´ll give some highlights of my last three weeks in Colombia. I ended up crossing the border on my birthday (literally, I got my exit stamp in Ecuador, walked across a short bridge into Colombia, and got into a taxi for the nearest town. It wasn´t until I arrived that I realized I needed to have gotten my passport entry stamp AT THE BORDER. Duh.) After my somewhat anti-climactic entry (no luggage search, no questions, nada - it´s harder to get into Canada) I met an Irish couple, Michelle and Ruaidhri, and we traveled to Pasto together, and after a night in that busy, blue-collar town, we headed for the university town of Popayan.
As soon as we arrived in Popayan, I knew I would want to stay awhile. The city was radiating with great vibes and is oh-so-lovely, with a colonial center of white buildings, a quiet plaza dotted with huge, old trees, and a tranquil green space to read in, overlooking an old stone bridge. It was peaceful and I felt very content.
I spent a week in Popayan, enjoying the city and meeting lots of great people
After Tierradentro, Karinna, Jordan and I made our way to Cali, one of the three largest cities in Colombia. It is the self-appointed capital of salsa and beautiful (plastic) women
I left Cali for Buga on Monday, a large town that Jordan told me about, and which my sole reason for wanting to visit was due to the fact that the owners of the hostel brew their own beer and make their own pizza. WHAT! A microbrew! This palate has nearly gone dry in the past three months for want of a delicious craft beer. I rolled in around six and immediately tried the mango beer, with a hint of coriander, and followed it up with a pretty delicious red. I stayed until Wednesday, when Jordan arrived and when the hostel´s cafe-bar had its grand opening, and then on Thursday Ingrid, another Aussie friend, and I headed for Salento.
Salento is a really chill little town in, as I said, the coffee region of Colombia. Ingrid, two other Aussies, Emily and Becca, and a Texan also named Lauren and I did a trek through the Cocora Valley yesterday, which I think is the only place in the world that grows Wax Palm Trees, huge tall palms that grow solitary in the valley. What I had anticipated would be a four hour hike turned into six, as we battled the rain for the last two hours of it. The sight of the palm trees was still beautiful, and the trek was worth it even if I did dump out about a gallon of rainwater from my rubber boots when we finished.
Heading for Santa Fe de Antioquia tomorrow with Emily and Becca. Thinking of you all and wishing you the best!