After our time in Pereira climbing mountains and filling up on the local (and incredibly delicious) crepes, we continued making our way south towards Ecuador, stopping off at three towns along the way.
Upon arrival in Buga, Columbia, we promptly and necessarily regained energy at a local cafe in the main plaza of the town. After-which we took some time out to admire the majestic basilica which stands at the forefront of the plaza and attracts a host of Catholics each year who pilgrimage to Buga for the primary purpose of visiting the massive cathedral.
Later in the afternoon the same day we had the opportunity to meet Pipo, a local Colombian, who generously allowed us to stay with him in his home and showed us tremendous hospitality for the remainder of our time in Buga. For his job Pipo works at a local hostel in town guiding tours throughout the neighboring mountains and valleys. So naturally we decided while staying with him to spend an extra day in the neighborhood and take his adventurous-sounding tour. And adventurous it was. Along the way we took a host of pictures and videos for pipo to use as promotional/informative material as well.
Here’s a few of the tour pictures taken for Pipo as well as our own documenting purposes shot while on the tour.
And here’s a video we put together for Pipo with our footage that shows a little bit about the tour and what you all get to see and do.
Our next destination moving southward was Cali, a beautiful city known as the salsa dancing capital of the world. Upon arrival we planned on spending one night in the city and promptly thereafter heading east of Cali to where we had plans to work on a farm for a short while. Little did we know, however, that in reality we’d be spending about 4 days and 3 nights in the city without much say in the matter…
Just after we arrived a number of riots broke out around the city involving the bus drivers getting angry about some new regulations that had been recently put into place. During the time of the riots the protesters blocked off all the exits to the city and no one could come or go for the next three days! So in the meantime, we got to spend some time checking out the city of Cali and all it had to offer.
We were told that besides it’s salsa dancing, Cali is actually known for having one of the best zoos in the country. So on one day, we went to the zoo.
On another day, we went to the park about a block away from our hostel. (Not exactly a bad place to be stuck in for a while)
The family we contacted ahead of time who owned the farm (which we were now eager to get to) actually lived primarily in Cali, so on a few occasions we were able to meet with Andrea and get the word on whether or not the riots were still going on. The first night of meeting her however, we had no clue what she looked like and no phone or means of contacting her besides a meeting place (our hostel, which was filled with many white or similar looking travelers), so we took the initiative to make a sign and sit in the street for a while until she came by. It was quite a new and interesting experience for us although we did slightly look the part of being homeless. Some might’ve said we hit a new low at that point…
Although our method did come through in the end.
When we did finally make it to the farm we had an amazing time, and over the course of the next five days there had the opportunity to help out around the place by painting a room, rebuilding a garden, and generally just helping out where we could and learning a lot about the fascinating world of sustainable living. Andrea and her husband were amazing hosts and provided us with our own room, tons of great food, and the amazing company of their generous and caring family to say the very least.
The next few pictures are a couple of projects we got to work on around the farm during our stay.
The farm was also located in a spot where you could see across the valley and needless to say… it was gorgeous.
After five days on the farm we decided (like so many other places), that we’d better keep moving south before we decide to drop our plans and live there. So we caught a bus that took us to the Columbia/Ecuador border town of Ipiales (famous solely for one of the most beautiful churches in the world featured below).
After a night in this notoriously dangerous town and a quick day trip to the gorgeous Las Lajas iglesia, we finally made the quick trip over to the border of our second South American country of the trip….
Where our future endeavors were yet again unknown.
-Nate & Micah