I was happy to leave Bogota behind, it’s not that ugly but it is too cold. I only stayed 5 days and I met wonderful people at the hostel – Hostal Destino Nomada. I also went to the Salt Cathedral 2hours away from Bogota and Monserrate. The Salt Cathedral is very impressive – an underground cathedral made completely from salt, if you are in Bogota I suggest you visit. Monserrate has a beautiful view of the city and artisan craft market, it’s great but I prefer the metro cable ride in Medellin. The walls of Bogota are covered with political graffiri and they have beautiful streets in the La Candeleria district – around Calle 11 I think.
So on to Cali I went, the weather was not as hot as I was told by people and the city is very relaxed, everything goes at a slow pace in Cali, I stayed 4 days in Calidad house hostel where I met this loco guy from Belgium – we went to the zoo together. The Lonely planet travel guide book said it is the best zoo in Colombia so my hope was very high, anyways the zoo was not very big nor impressive but it is something to do during the day in Cali.
I took a side trip to Buenaventura and hoped to see San Cipriano also – the trip to Buenaventura was very bumpy – the roads are very bad, there was traffic because of construction and the route is safe -heavily patrolled by the Colombian army. On getting there, I asked around from a hotel or hostel and I was referred to an hotel in town – I paid more for a room that I would have paid in Cali, Medellin or Bogota for the same class of hotel and the room was very shitty, dirty and had mold on the walls. The hotel was very loud also, the next morning I went about looking for something else. I couldn’t find anything better so I settled for Hotel Estellar Estacion- a very expensive one, at that time I had no choice, my allergies had gone from manageable to worse and I just needed a decent place to chill.
This hotel is absolutely spetacular – its in front of the beach, the cafeteria serves some of the best foods ever, the rooms are comforable and comes with a balcony – offcourse all these come with a price eehn, over USD 80 per night!.
Well left the next day to Cali, but stayed at Pelican Larry Hostel this time around, met more amazing people and the hostal staffs are awesome. Halloween night, we partied – you know clubs in Juanchito and Manga area stay open to 7am in the morning, it was fun watching people, some costumes are 100% ridiculus but well its halloween. I also got the chance to hang out with my friend’s family in Cali, i enjoyed hanging out with them, they are really wonderful people. Cali is a great place to chill, people watch and learn salsa – there is not much to see during the day but a lot at night. The Chipichape mall is the best I have been to in Colombia, at night people go there to drinks because they have bars in the centre area of the mall. I see myself living in Cali in the future, it remind me of my hometown in Nigeria – Lagos. I really wished I would stay in Cali but there I could not find a spanish school there. I changed my mind about studying spanish in Cartegena because the program there was more expensive than Medellin or Bogota and going back to Bogota was not an option for me, so it was Medellin again for a whole month.
I planned on surprising my friends in Medellin so I didn’t tell them the precise date I would be coming back. I left Cali thursday night and arrived at Medellin 7am friday, went directly to my new host family house and to the Universidad EAFIT campus. I popped out in front of Lexie while she was chatting with Joe, NuNu and Stephan – the surprised look on her face was priceless – absolutely priceless, same went with Juliana, Iris, Violeta, Freddy, Oliver y Nicolas. I felt glad being with my friends again and seeing Son, Diego y Chris again was Chevere. This weekend will be chilled because a lot of my friends are having their final exam next week so they have to study a lot.
There are some stuffs I’m not too happy about but willing to try them. One is my new host family, I was hoping to return to my old host family but the school in Cartegena charges a USD$200 fee for cancellation, thats too much money to waste. The new family family seem nice, it is just the woman and her husband in a house in the middle of nowhere and no wi-fi. The other thing is I will not longer be taking classes at EAFIT, same reason as the previos, the cancellation fee is too much and I will miss the ‘Miss America’ beauty pageant on the 11th in Cartegena. But the other things I am very excited about is I will be returning to belly dancing, I would begin Volunteer work next week.