Our departure from Colombia was as abrupt as our arrival in Colombia. We were in Popayan, in the south of the country and had planned to get a 7-hour bus up to San Agustin, where we would do some walking and maybe even some horse riding. The deal is, that Stacey will go to a Brazillian football match with me, if I go horse riding with her. I hate horses, she hates football, it makes sense really.
With our bus due to leave in an hour we had a sudden change of heart. It has rained in southern Colombia for a week or so, which is grim enough, but even more so when 4 hour bus trips turn to 14 hour bus trips when roads collapse and mud plunges down mountainsides onto the carriageway. We had been the victim of lengthy bus trips twice in the past few days and knowing the road to San Agustin was gravel, we decided to ditch the idea and get the hell out of Dodge.
So on Monday we spent all day on a couple of buses and a in couple of taxis to get over the border to Otavalo in Ecuador, where it's officially dry season. We ran the gauntlet of the Popayan to Pasto road, where nocturnal armed bandits are said to roam. We didn't see any, but if we did, we were both fully prepared to offer very disapproving looks as they made off with all of our belongings.
It rained today in Quito, which may have flawed our 'avoid the rain' tactic.
We liked Colombia. The people were friendly and laid back while the country has a massive variation of landscapes to keep us busy, from stunning beaches, to colonial towns, to rolling mountains to bustling cities. Anyone who says it is dangerous probably hasn't been – we never felt at all worried for our safety.
- Tayrona National Park – hammocks with the best view in the world
- Scuba Diving in Taganga
- Salento – The MASSIVE palm trees in Cocora Valley
- Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira – miners, it turns out, are pretty artistic.
- The cities – Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. All different in the own way but all pretty appealing.
- The beer. Tastes like weak Carling.
- The food. In general, the food hasn't been too inspiring, barring a few impressive exceptions. I liked my ajiaco, which was a chicken soup with three types of potato, corn and capers. Out of this world. They also do very good fresh lemonade.
- The price of Cornflakes. There is no reason in the world why toasted bits of corn should cost $4 a box.
- The weather. We're sorry, it just rained a little bit too much!
- Bus drivers. As mentioned in a previous blog, they need professional help.
Well, here's the clever bit. And it is VERY clever. There's an nice place just south of Quito called 'Banos' , which means bathroom. We're looking to get an apartment there for a week. Told you it was clever.
We'll hopefully get to the Amazon before Christmas too and hopefully spend a bit of time on the beach, because we haven't seen the sun for a few weeks. Bye. X