Gringo in Paradox - Travels in Colombia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Champe, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    I think you go to
    El Salvador on a regular basis. What do you pay for beer there ?

    I am drinking a beer right now with my new roommate in Cali. We are in a hostel and the price for the cheaper beers at the bar is 4000 pesos…about $1.10. The roommate is an impressionable young college student and I am trying to get her drunk. This is not going to cost a lot.
  2. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    beers in El Salvador cost about the same $1.10 but often include a tapa like a couple oysters or shrimp
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  3. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Here are the drink prices at the Viajero Hostel in Cali. They seem cheap to me, but of course hard drinks are more dinero. The Colombian peso has gone down a little lately, relative to the US dollar, so all these prices need to be divided by 3700 to get the dollar amount. 791A5367-C0B2-4C5F-95CD-A131FA0CA120.jpeg

    Another one that got away. I am an early riser but Paula was gone when I got up this morning. She is on a multi city vacation and travels by bus and plane. She did leave a note and contact information. She is Colombian , from Huila, which I had to look up. Pronounced … Wee-la… h is silent in Spanish. That town is on my way after I go as far south as I want. Her note lists several foods that I have not tried, but they are on the list now. 4C384735-61CF-4CBF-968C-2E48CBBEF7F8.jpeg
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  4. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Did a walk in another direction yesterday. This time to a commercial district. There was a really nice park along the river with a pedestrian bridge that could have had a 6 lane highway on it. There is a lot of very old architecture here that is in great shape.
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    And in the park there are trees with fruit on them. Looks like coconuts but they are not palm trees.
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  5. GenXrider

    GenXrider Been here awhile

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    Go walk around the El Peñon/San Antonio part of Cali, the best part in my opinion.
    Sunday night in the park is fun, with lots going on and a ton of people hanging out.

    Also, the Cali Zoo is excellent and close to San Antonio.
  6. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    I have not found the big market area here yet and the “supermercados” are not very super. But I did find one that had mangos de azúcar…sugar mangos… so I am all set. There are a lot of fruits that I have not tried though because I don’t know how to pick or eat them.
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  7. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Manifestation

    I thought I knew English pretty well but I got surprised by the hostel owner ..Claudio.. in Bogota, when he said there would be a…manifestation.. at 7:30 that night and it might be a good idea to have my bike put away by that time. Nothing happened, but a public plan for a disturbance would be monitored by the authorities.

    Then I heard the same word from Harry and Juan, the other motorcycle riders in Filandia, talking about what was going to happen in Cali. This time there was a…manifestation. I would call it a riot, since the police were attacked with rocks.

    In the US, I kept hearing about…mostly peaceful protests… ha ha. What BS. Burning buildings and vehicles, looting, breaking glass and generally destroying large parts of cities is not …mostly peaceful. Maybe a manifestation is a better description.
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  8. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Thank you for the great suggestions. I did walk through El Peñón last night and it was surprisingly nice. Lots of high end restaurants and shops. Compares to the best part of Boston…Newbury Street. I had to look at a map today to see where you meant and I see San Antonio park is very close so that is on the list. And the zoo too.

    I have not seen the fat people statues yet either, so I need to find out where they are.

    Yesterday I was in Simon Bolivar park and was very pleased to see that the …cancel culture.. has not destroyed anything there yet. There is plenty to criticize about the Colombian government (US too), but I can not understand how wanton destruction fixes it.
  9. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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  10. GenXrider

    GenXrider Been here awhile

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    The best places for Botero statues are Bogota and Medellin, maybe Cali has a 1 or 2, although never seen them.

    Wanton destruction is often fueled by the left in Cololmbia, to the point of blatantly paying those that are willing to destroy in the name of progress.
  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Lake Calima

    Just got back from a 5 hour ride to Darien, the host town to kite surfing on Lake Calima. I took this photo of a kite getting set up. 8E947873-7243-49FB-83AC-DF0436D8DFEB.jpeg

    When these two walked across my line of sight.
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  12. Tomaso

    Tomaso Been here awhile

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    "When these two walked across my line of sight."

    A very nice looking pair.
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  13. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    North of Cali is some very good riding. The roads are generally very good and the scenery is super. Leaving Cali one way goes through a big valley with a lot of big farms. There is sugar cane for miles around.
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    Papaya tree orchard. There were a few fruits on the ground so I rescued two of them.
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    Corn field. This may be a little too common in the US, but how many cornfields in the US have banana trees for a border ?
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  14. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The town of Darien is not related to the “Darien Gap”. It is a small isolated town to the north of Lake Colima. The lake is long and thin running east-west. The eastern part is the thinnest and surrounded by high mountains. That is where I started my ride around the lake. I could not see how kitesurfing could work with the mountains blocking the wind.
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    About halfway around the lake, the terrain flattened out. Views of the lake itself were spoiled by high fences though. I think there were probably a lot of accidents from people watching kite surfers while driving. AD0EE15C-E748-42EF-8880-2E2CC7570D6B.jpeg D57C28E2-7B65-4A55-A352-C15B92640312.jpeg

    At the Western end of the lake is the kitesurfing hotspot. There were probably 20 kites in the air at once.
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  15. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Waterfall on the side of the road on the Western end
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    Last look at Lake Calima. There are some very nice houses in this area.
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    Hours later, returning to Cali. There was this favella in the hills . Quite a contrast to the luxury homes around Lake Calima.
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  16. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Which pair ? I am not much into fashion, but I really like this girl’s shirt.
    They were cool with my taking the photo too.
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  17. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Backing up to Filandia for a moment. Here are some guys mixing cement on the street. And I don’t mean in containers on the street. They were putting the mixed cement in buckets and carrying it to a project in the back yard.
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    A duck living in town, laying an egg over a drainage grate
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    A lot of the sidewalk cement had old Indian style embossing
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  18. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    When I worked for Habitat for Humanity, mixing cement on the street was the preferred method!
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  19. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Cali to Pasto

    Cali is one of the best cities I have visited so far. The weather is just about perfect. It is warm but not hot. For sleeping at night you only need a sheet. There is no air conditioning in the room and it is not needed.

    The hostel is in a quiet area but is central to all activities. The city center with all its shops and restaurants is in one direction only a 10 minute walk away. The other direction has nice neighborhoods, a big park, and the zoo.

    Yesterday I visited the Cali zoo. All my friends were there. The place is well kept and designed for walking one way while seeing it all. I have been to several of the biggest zoos in the world but this was the first time I saw an Andean Condor.

    My other big project yesterday was to find some flip flop shoes. Small projects like this take some time in a country where you do not know the layout or the language. Got ‘er done though.

    Next up is a run to Ecuador. There is a big city on the way…Pasto… but it is a 10 hour ride. I think I will save that for tomorrow, since that is Sunday, and a good day to travel.
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  20. Tomaso

    Tomaso Been here awhile

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    10 hours is a long trip. Good luck today, and take a few pics!