Popayán , The White Capital

It makes a long bus trip from Pereira to Popayán, where we stay in one of these nice white houses in the city centre. It’s already late when we arrive there, so much more as simply enjoying a good bed and the house is not for today…

The next day we go for a city visit, but it’s a public holiday today, so most of the things are closed. From the lookout we have an overview over the old city, we pass some – closed – churches and enjoy the white scenery. That night we buy a couple of platano’s and try to fry them like chips, this are real South-American Style Chips… Tastes great!

The bus from Popayán to Silvia is along windy roads and many valleys. Once we’re in Sylvia, we feel more in Ecuador, since the typical blue dresses and the bowler hats. Tuesday here is market day, so we see all local fruits and vegetables pass, spot many panela – unrefined cane sugar – blocks and try the Sancocho soup in the local stall.

After that we return to Pereira to get the bus to San Agustin…
I expect to be able to follow the soccer game Belgium – USA in the departure hall, but nothing. They don’t even broadcast the match here! Only on the internet I can follow the comments. But we win, that’s all that matters.
Our bus leaves late, actually too late, so the driver speeds along these small, windy roads and the roadworks and mud slow him often down… When we near the crossing to San Agustin, the driver comes to us and asks: ‘Would you do me a favour please? I’m already late, so I’ll drop you off here instead of in San Agustin. I tried to call a taxi, but they don’t answer me.’

What he don’t realises is that it’s nearly 12 o’clock, pitch dark, raining and we’re in a more risky zone for guerrilla… So not really an option to be left there if we want a hotel tonight.
We kindly refuse and he is obliged to bring us to San Agustin… Really unhappy and as fast as possible he drops us off and we have to wake up half the hostel before we can enter, but at least we have a bed and are safe in San Agustin.

Een typische versnapering uit de omgeving is “Panela con queso”. De drank is gemaakt van suikerriet die ze in grote blokken verkopen. Je laat de suiker smelten in warm water en doet er limoensap bij, warm of koud. Heerlijk! Langs de weg kun je dit overal krijgen met een broodje en een stuk kaas.