I will be on a bus most of the day tomorrow. Will board bus at Cali bus station, will be heading towards Ipiales, which is the Southernmost town in Colombia on the bus route. It is the ‘border town’ between Colombia and Ecuador. The bus journey will take about 12 hours. I like to ride in the daytime so I can see the scenery passing by my window. Have checked out the accomodations at the end of the route. Will be spending tomorrow night (Sunday, Dec 1st) in Ipiales.
On Monday morning, I will get a cab from the town that will drop me directly at the border crossing. After having my passport stamped having exited Colombia, I will then walk across the bridge (crossed this bridge on foot five times at 3AM upon my last return) to the Ecuadorian immigration offices and officially enter that country. After those items are complete I will get a cab to Tulcan, which is about 4km from the border crossing.
Plan to have a brief look at the topiary gardens there. (http://www.socialphy.com/posts/travel-leisure/17022/Tulcan_s-Topiary-Garden-Cemetery.html) After visiting the garden, I then plan to mount another bus and get off in either Ibarra or Otavalo. Will decide tomorrow night. Depends on how I feel and how long the border crossing takes.
Am feeling much better than when I arrived in Cali. The breathing issue is under control, now that I have an inhaler. Have gotten a few good nights of sleep. (excepting, of course, the young folks returning from salsa clubs in the very wee hours)
As always, sad to say goodbye to many folks I met here, but glad to have met them.
I would describe the San Antonio neighborhood of Cali as kind of like New Orleans before Katrina, only without the Mississippi river, it’s unique history, and the Cajuns. (OK, I concede; it only has the ‘feel’ of a Latin New Orleans)
It is similar to Nola because all of the great restaurants, music clubs, and the presence of all manner of artists. There are small boutique art galleries and small clubs along the narrow streets.
Went to a (live) comedy club last night. Didn’t understand the whole routine but I did get that it was about how people who speak different languages and come from different cultures, and therefore, don’t understand the specific idiosyncracies therein, are in a kind of culture vacuum, even when they really try hard to understand one another. It does make for some comedic moments. The comedian ‘polled’ the audience and found out the different places that were represented. I know he made a joke in reference to Colombians not completely understanding Ecuadorians. The audience laughed. Barrio San Antonio is home to at least one university, lots of intelligent, artsy folks around here.
Had a nice meal at a restaurant with outdoor tables covered with sunbrellas. The name of the restaurant was ‘Lingua de mariposas’ … literally the tongue of butterflies. I think it means loosely, the ‘language of butterflies’. American jazz music was playing through the speakers, giving it the effect of a cozy jazz joint. One of the walls inside was dedicated to the words of a local, Colombian writer. On another wall, very artfully done were the following words: ‘No se la Muerte de frio’. I asked the waitress if she knew what it referred to. She was in her early twenties. I told her in my imperfect Spanish that I thought it referred to a period of jazz known as ‘cool’. Not really sure if that’s what it meant, but, that’s what I made it mean. (this would probably be fodder for the comedian that I had seen earlier)
Had 12 arepanitas (tiny arepas… deep fried, filled pocket breads) served with with four kinds of different sauces, two cups of hot chocolate, and a cup of strawberry ice cream. Total bill came to about 5 bucks.
Hoping for another good night’s rest so I can be ready for my long journey tomorrow.
May post tomorrow night, but only if there is internet at the hostel.