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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Colombia: Pasto and Popayan

COLOMBIA | Thursday, 24 July 2008 | Views [1191]

And so to Colombia

I was really excited going for the border at Colombia. It is pretty much the last country we will visit on the trip and every kept on telling us about the freindly people, beatiful towns, great beaches, Caribbean breezes. Sounds lovely.

Crossing the border was a breeze, we were stamped in with a smile and waved across the frontier into a waiting taxi to make the bus trip an hour north to Pasto and straight into the hostel at the other end. Not much in the way of exhilirating night life and the food was awful in this town, so after a quick nosey round in the day light we skipped on north to Popayan in an eight hour journey breathing petrol fumes the whole way. I perked up when a young man got on the bus holding a chicken though.

Arrived in Popayan at night and spent a while searching for bad food at over priced restaurants. By day we saw the town was pleasent enough. Had all the usual plaza surrounded by banks, church and white washed offices and some nice enough cobbled streets. Also managed to find a really beatiful hotel.

But every time we went to find a museum or church or even somewhere to eat it always seemed to be shut. Rather annoying really but the ensuing boredom drove us into one of the best bars I have seen in the continent.

It is an antique old thing, run by a tiny little old man who shuffles to and from the bar with his beer bottles. He has a great wall to wall record collection behind the bar and keeps the record player on a shelf at head height so he is on eye level with the turn table, postioning the needle with a flourish waiting to hear the bosa nova beats kick in before he shuffles out to greet the next punter. 

Tags: bar, border crossing, bosa nova, colombia, latin america, music, pasto, popayan, salsa, south america

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