Is it obvious that i´m struggling to keep this up to date now i´m on the road all the time?!
So we arrived in Cali on a Sunday evening after a 6hr bus ride. After checking into the hostel, we decided to go in search of food, only to discover that Cali (or at least the part we were in) was a ghost town. NOTHING was open, and after a 20 minute walk we ended up in a traditional Columbian restaurant “Crepes and Waffles”, which serves (unsurprisingly) crepes and waffles. Apparently the company was started by two university students, and they are now all over Columbia and branching out. Whatever, they do amazing ice cream!
Monday came, and guess what …? STILL a ghost town! A mission to find breakfast was abandoned, and we headed for the hostel which was to be our home for my last 3 nights in Columbia. Selected on the basis that it had a pool, so gutted to discover that aforementioned pool was too cold to swim in!! The room did however have a massive jacuzzi bath … with no plug. This wasn´t a show-stopper however, and, determined to have a bath, i stuffed one of the hotel towels down the plug hole. Only to discover that the jacuzzi didn´t work either.
If you believe the Lonely Planet guide, then the number one attraction in Cali is the zoo, so to the zoo we went. Having now discovered that it was a public holiday (there seem to be a LOT of those in Columbia), it seemed like a good option and guaranteed to be open. As zoos go, it´s actually a pretty decent one, and I got some great photos. It must have been mating season for the tortoises, as there was a bit of an orgy going on in their enclosure. After the previous evening´s dinner fail, we headed to trusty ‘Il Forno’ for pasta.
Cali isn´t really geared up for tourists. Whilst we like to think of ourselves as ´travellers´ rather than ´tourists´, we still need something to do during daylight hours, although it is stinking hot and not particularly clean. The place comes alive at night, so if you salsa then it´s the place to do it (Cali is the salsa capital of Columbia). Or maybe they´re all just vampires. Either way, finding stuff to do during the day was a challenge. We did however find a couple of good restaurants, including a restaurant theatre ´Teatro Magico del Sabor´run by an American expat where your food is cooked in front of you, and ´Platillos Voladores´(flying saucers), an Asian fusion restaurant. We tried to go salsa, but the venue was closed, so we went to a bar and drank tequila instead. Basically Cali was pretty lazy – plenty of food and sleep!
So Cali in a nutshell … underwhelmed. But then we weren´t there to party. But if you salsa, hey – fill your boots!!