Since we came into town late last night, we decided before getting on the bikes today to take a very long leisurely stroll around town. It would have been a shame to just get on the bikes without getting a better feel of this place.
Kevin's panoramic shot above is a classic. We kept looking and wondering what could be so important to stand in a line that long! Even with this one shot that covers two very large city blocks, you still can't see the beginning and the end of the line.
I finally asked a police officer who was standing on the corner monitoring the line, in Spanish he tells me the people are getting a government subsidy. I ask him if they stand in line weekly or monthly? He said one time per year.. Kevin and I at the same time, "Ahhhhhh".
I notice the people are peaceful enough for such a long line, all holding their documents.
As we walk around, I also notice many local women tend to have a largish rear end. I mention to Kevin that I don't feel so out of place here as my rear end is not on the small side. I am going to dob Kevin in here. I just found in his photo files a VERY close up photo of my ass while we are walking around the town plaza. I absolutely refuse to include the photo in the blog! However, I will tell you what he said.. "You don't have a large ass, you just have 'child-bearing hips'. Ooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Granted I opened the door for it.. but gee whiz!! He got quite the look after that! This is a toned down version..
He spent the next 20 minutes at least trying to back track what he said. "That's a good thing" (not going to work..) "I love your ass!" Yeah, right. "Can I get you a smoothie?" No! "Can I get you a doughnut?" as we pass the good smelling fresh ones on the street. Kevin.. "I don't think me eating fattening food is going to make it better". He finally took me into a shop the Colombian equivalent of Starbucks to get me a tea. I agreed to let him off the hook, but not for the tea, a hot chocolate and a croissant.. ha!!!! It was just fun to watch him squirm for that long.
Speaking of large rear ends..
How often do you see a motorcycle towing a washing machine! You're not likely to see it in Australia or USA, however it's common here. People who either can't afford or don't have the space for a machine in their house will rent one for the day and this is the delivery service.
This photo Kev took on the way to Popayan yesterday. I'm in the mix with the bikers in front of his mirror, but more interesting, this tiny moto towing a trailer that transports glass. I wouldn't want that job! I'd cost the company more in broken glass than they'd make for sure!
Anyway, back to our wander around Popayan.. it is a good looking city. Really glad we had the morning to explore. Watch out for the llama kiss!
And since I am exposing all truths today, here is how we find our hostel in the mix of all the white buildings.
Yep, those are all my undies drying on the balcony after a big sink wash this morning.. ! ;-/ I was glad that nice long morning walk gave them time to dry. But now we must pack up and go. We are heading south again to Pasto, Colombia. Only 250 km, no big deal, but it's nearly lunch time already.
Good luck getting out of this city at lunch time any time soon! ;-/
Sometimes I dread packing up, but once I'm on the bike for whatever reason, instant happy... even in this traffic.
So I have another 'largish' story to tell. The next time I got internet connection after visiting Popayan, I had many emails from friends in Croatia. They were asking if I was okay. They had heard about the bomb today in Popayan. What the heck?? After talking to them, we looked at news online and sure enough there was a bomb in town today and looking at the timing, we had literally just missed it! They had also set off a couple protest bombs in other cities at the same time as well, Bogota and Cali if I remember correctly.
Gee whiz! And how did my friends in Croatia hear about this? Not like my own family were asking if I was alive? Turned out Croatian friend, Petar Rikic is in Colombia as well. We had talked a couple of times about catching up at some stage. He knew where I was and his messages had gotten to our mutual friends in Croatia who then emailed me. Wow! That is kind of cool! On the other hand, there was a dag gone bomb and people died in that gorgeous town we just had a wander in!! I had a look online, and it seems to be quite a common occurrence, particularly car bombs. Glad I didn't know that before (I think..)
Here is another common sight. The men in the road with shovels, are actually locals and most likely live in the house there. They will stand in the road and "pretend" to fill the hole. They ask for a tip when you pass by for the pleasure of them making the road more smooth for us.
I personally find it amazing and sad at the same time. Imagine if you had to find any way possible to make some money today, and filling potholes for a tip was the best option... ;-(
I'm actually more interested in the horses than the view, so I'm glad Kevin stopped us here. Little horse looks so skinny, but somebody has dropped off some sugar cane stalks?
The horses were able to eat the long stalks, but when I held them up, it was easier straight on than the way they had to pick them up from the ground.
The horse on the other side of the fence didn't have any at all! So I shared with that guy too.. See how happy he is!!?? ;-)
Oh yeah, the view..
I'm loving these trucks who travel with their own little stash of bananas on the side. We pass them often.
The pavement outside of Pasto didn't last long.. and then we were on dirt, or should I say mud roads. We went higher in elevation, again, and added to the mud and dark night was a very VERY thick fog.
What I wish we did was at least get some dinner in Pasto before we attempted this. But we didn't know it would be a mud road and higher in clouds. This made for a very slow ride. The lake is only 30 km out of Pasto, but pure torture for me when the conditions are blind and slippery like this.
Once we got to the lake, there was NOWHERE to stay. Any place or cabin was closed for the season?? We rode around every little dirt road, now very cold from the rain. Turns out in the slow season they are open on weekends only. And today is not the weekend! ;-(
While we were stopped in a patch of mud having yet another little pow wow, Kevin's bike just dies. Right here. No idea why, so he gets all his gear out, tools, checking fuses, battery, etc. A man and 2 kids walk up from the road in the dark rain and say the lady that owns this closed restaurant in front of us will rent us a room for the night.. For real? He went and got her.
She came out in the rain, was kind, sweet and as soft spoken as they come. She invited us in. We rolled the bikes up to her front door and have a look inside. It was a rustic lovely old wooden restaurant. Luckily the kettle was warm and she gave us a natural cup of tea, something from her garden.
The room cost next to nothing. I think the lady felt sorry for us. It had a little fireplace which she started up right away. She asked if we wanted something to eat, but it was late and we didn't want to bother her to open everything up just for us. I wasn't particularly hungry and Kevin was intent on finding the problem with his bike. I'm going to guess some connection got a bit too wet, but he spent about an hour and a half scouring through the manual. I was more content to get under the covers and watch the fire burn.. ;-)
So here are photos from the following morning!
It must have been some sort of universal magic. The Buell died literally right in front of this lady's place. It just happened to be a perfect place to stay on a dark rainy night. Then his bike started right up in the morning without having to fix anything! So strange, but it must have been meant to be!
In the morning I thought her kitchen was awesome.. Until I saw her stove! That's pretty darn primitive for a working restaurant!
Another fun discovery. A warm cozy night. Kevin's bike is working again, all is well in southern Colombia!