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Published: July 15th 2008
After all the warnings of gringos being kidnapped or falsely accused of drug smuggling I have to say Colombia was almost a bit of a let-down. Apart from the style of salsa being different and maybe having a few more mountains, on first impressions, I can't say it struck me as being all that different from Ecuador.
The scenery in southern Colombia as we crossed the border and made our way towards Pasto was certainly breathtaking and the caminetta decided to liven things up a bit by taking every turn (and there were a great number of these) at breakneck speed. No wonder caminettas can make the journey to Cali in three hours less than the buses! The only annoying thing about the public transport system in Colombia is, unlike Ecuador where the buses (generally) leave at the allotted hour) buses in Colombia seem to only leave when full which can make for quite long waits in the terminal.
Arrived in Cali in the pitch black (bus drivers lying about how long the journey is seems to be a universal thing) so just checked into a hotel before going out for food and drinks. Observing the nightlife in Cali
I have to say I can't quite understand the reputation Colombian women have for being the most beautiful in the world.
Despite every South American man practically drooling whenever Colombian women are mentioned I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. The salsa, I have to admit, is infinitely better although a lot harder. Just when you think you've managed to master the basics, you change country and there's a completely new style to learn!
Spent a couple of days seeing the city and visiting museums (and the zoo - honestly it's like travelling with a big kid!) as well as going through the very strenuous task of changing money. You would think it would be straightforward but no. I officially now have all my passport information, all the personal information they could possibly think of as well as my fingerprints kept somewhere in Colombia. Nothing to worry about at all!
That night was officially the final between Liga (Quito) and some Brazilian team so we joined the seemingly thousands of other people in the streets and bars of Cali to watch the match. I'm very glad Liga won as I would hate to see that many highly emotional
football fans upset! There were giant screens set up in the street as well as in every single bar along the whole street.
Another great thing about Colombia is that the drinks come in bottles not glasses. A little strange but when you order a single Cuba Libre you are presented with a medium sized bottle of rum, a glass of ice, saucer of limes and a single glass of coke. Either the idea is to make you keep paying for the coke or simply to get you drunk as quickly as possible.
Decided against going to the Colombian beaches due to the trouble at the time, instead headed back down south to tour the northern Ecuadorian beaches in search of sun.
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