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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .


COLOMBIA | Saturday, 16 May 2009 | Views [1199]

We took a taxi from our hotel in Aguachica to the carraterra thinking to catch a bus there as it is cheaper to catch one on the road than to buy a ticket at the terminal. So we get there and find ourselves talked into going to Bucaramanga by taxi! There was one there with a guy in it waiting for other passengers and the fare was negotiated to 20,000 each which was what we expected to pay on the bus so we jumped in. Straight away another guy jumped in beside Carol, who was in the back seat with the first guy. She got really worried for a while that we were not safe as the last guy was really uptight and kept flexing his fists etc. But there is only one road to Bucaramanga and we stayed on it and all was ok.

At one place we had to stop for about an hour in a line of traffic and could never figure out the problem, when we went past there was nothing to show why we should have stopped. It was a lovely day and the scenery here is excellent and we have time so no worries. At Bucaramanga the driver stopped and flagged down another bus to Giron and stuck us on it. They are so helpful in these countries, it makes it so much easier to travel.

At Giron we managed to nearly miss the town and stopped the bus when it was on the outskirts (luckily it is a small town) up the hill. This was good though coz when we walked back down thru the town we met a local woman who showed us to a cheap local hotel hidden away where we wouldn't have found it. The Villa de Ensueño gave us a room with baño and tv for 30,000 with a huge bed, only negative was the window to outside was in the bathroom so not much natural light.

That evening was Saturday and on either side of the hotel we had nightclubs playing and the street was full of people. It sounded so busy (we were in for the night) that we decided to get up and take a look. The street was chocka block full of people enjoying the evening and the street was full of traffic, it is only a small street. We went out for a wander around, it was a really nice time and everyone was busy and happy. Luckily party type noise doesn't bother either of us and we are easily able to sleep through it, we managed to sleep in our tent at the rainbow gathering right next to the party area. We have had lots of training at the motorcylce rallies we went to in NZ.

There are lots of motorcycles here (small) and they all wear high vis vests that have the numberplate of the bike in reflective material sewn onto the vest. If there are two people on the bike then two vests. The budget car of choice here is a Renault, really cute looking and some of them are done up as you will see in our pics.


Sunday we went wandering round the town, the old town is a national monument and full of the spanish style white stucco and tile roofed houses and cobbled streets. In the new part of town they are allowed to use different colours but the two meld together well.

We had an amazing lunch at an outside restaurant, it was a shared plate piled with different types of meat and banana stuffed with cheese and roasted potatoes (10,000). Really bad for us and really yum!


We watched some men playing a type of bowling/petanc game where they toss a heavy ball and try to knock down 3 pins set one behind each other about 20 meters away.


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