Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Going Back to Cali

We came back to Cali from Salento and spent New Years here. We stayed in that night, but we may as well have gone out since the fireworks and loud music literally lasted ALL night long. It's not like you can just close your windows here either (too hot) so we just stood on the balcony in awe. Much to my dismay, there was NO college football to be found on New Year's Day here. A couple days later, we did make a trip to the famous Cali Zoo. It's supposedly the best zoo in all of South America. Cesar and I would both have to agree. It was amazing. You felt like you were just walking through a savanna or a jungle.Would you ever see this in Lincoln Park Zoo?

There is this amazing butterfly house there. Colombia has something like over 10,000 kinds of butterflies, so it was very cool to see so many different kinds in such an enclosed space.

What we both noticed was that the animals were so lively and active. They weren't just all sleeping in the shade looking depressed. This little guy actually was performing for the camera, he loved the attention. In fact, he put his hand on the glass and was tapping it loudly at Cesar, which I took to mean that we should move on. He looked upset. Cesar thought it was hilarious.
We did a lot more in Cali, but I'll post those pictures another time.

And, we're back...

Well, I've been without the precious internet for over a month now, so that's my excuse for not continuing to blog. It's been super frustrating. We don't really know what the problem was, but let me just say that the internet/phone company called Telmex has a recording when you call that asks you to "hang up, then choose one of the following menu items." That's strange, because when I hang up, there is obviously no menu of options!! So frustrating. Anyway, I need to continue with my Christmas break adventure.

From beautiful Medellin, Cesar and I got on another bus and headed to Armenia. This was about a 6 hour ride, and we took it during the day mostly, so the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. I kept trying to take pictures out the bus window, but none of them really show what it looks like in person of course. We spent the night in Armenia and then the next morning headed to Salento. I'd heard a lot about Salento, I think I was the only new teacher this year to have not visited there yet. It's only about 3 hours from Cali, but I wanted to go with Cesar, which is why I waited. Armenia and Salento are in the Cafeteria, or the coffee region, of Colombia. You definitely feel like you're in the mountains, but you're also still near the Equator, so it's just the most beautiful scenery I've witnessed so far here. The town is so adorable, it has a big town square, where you can find all kinds of artisans selling jewelry, purses, wooden things, and t-shirts. After dark, all these tents are set up in the square, kind of like beer tents everywhere. Oh, and the fish they are famous for serving is the best fish I've ever tasted! During the day, there is a lot to do. There are hiking trails, waterfalls, and lots of horseback riding tours. Across the street from the place we stayed, there were horses. So, we asked if we could come back after lunch and rent two to go see a waterfall. When we got there, the horses were ready, and so was our guide...a 12 year old boy. There were absolutely no instructions given, we just were plopped on there and expected to know what to do. This was a bit of a problem for me, first of all because of the language barrier, and secondly because I'd only been on a horse one other time...and that was a ridiculously scary adventure in the Rocky Mountains in which Johnny's horse kicked mine and my horse was mad and we were on a trail about 3 inches wide on the side of a mountain. Not a good memory. This one seemed to be starting out on the wrong foot as well. No directions. Riding through the streets with cars. A 12 year old guide who doesn't understand me. And, a very adventurous boyfriend who loves horses and wants to go really fast through the mountains. Overall, a very nervewracking experience for me. Basically, our 12 year old guide had to stay right behind my horse because I was too inept to tell it what to do or where to go. I basically turned into this whiny little princess who was about to cry the entire time. I was so glad when it was over! But, as you see in the pictures, it was beautiful up there.