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6 – 8 Deccember 2013

I got up early and took the bus to Armenia around 8am – again free because nobody asked for payment...?! It took an hour and in Armenia I immediately got another bus to Cali where I arrived 3 hours later after an uneventful ride... It was beautiful weatther – around 30 degrees and sunny with a few clouds; still it was only a few kilometres to the hostel so I decided to walk sweating like a pig because of the humidity. At the bus station people send me in the wrong direction but street signs quickly got me back on track. The big dorms in the hostel were full so I got a 4 person dorm for the same price... I was low on supplies so I went shopping a couple of kilometres from the hostel – again walking back was a hot experience so I was happy when a couple of girls from the hostel passing by in a taxi gave me a ride the last part of the way... It was late afternoon so too late to go anywhere – instead I hung out at the hostel talking to people and relaxing...

The next morning I got up early even though it was still raining. The weather forecast didn't look promising for the coming days, so after breakfast I headed out despite a drizzle... I walked some kilometres downtown and continued another kilometer south to Parque Del Acueducto at a small hill from where there was a view of the city – though limited as it was still overcast but no longer raining.... Back down I walked to the center – Cali is just another big city (2.5 million) with little to see... a few churches and squares and otherwise just the bustling streets with countless vendors.... As the weather improved around noon I walked back through the old colonial district of San Antonio before again reaching the hill overlooking the city where I got better views while enjoying my lunch – and cooling of in the breeze after a sweaty walk around town. I was surprised by the substantial military and police presense on every corner and I'm not sure it was necessary – I never felt unsafe but then again it might be because of the pro-active efforts... For the first time since Cartagena I was offered drugs and many other illegal stuff in the streets. Other things I noticed in Cali was that quite a lot of Columbian's speak English and that dancing (especially salsa) is everything here – people were dancing spontaneously in the streets, there were free salsa lessons at the hostel and at night most hostel guests went out dancing – for me who doesn't dance it was pretty quiet until they returned early morning....  

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