Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cali to Pasto (9 hrs on a bus thru the mountains)

Thursday Nov. 18, 2010 (Day 4)

Caught a cab from Casa Blanca Hostel to the bus terminal. On the way to the terminal the police were placing yellow tape around a shooting that had just occurred on the street according to the taxi driver. Sometimes you forget where you are and that Colombia is and can be dangerous if you are not careful. Of course, so can BR or NO. That is why selecting a hostel in a safe neighborhood and not venturing out late at night without a group is important and always take a cab at night.

Got to the bus terminal around 7:30 am and they quickly tried to jam me on a crowded bus. It was obvious that the other passengers did not want me in their crowded space so I stepped off the bus. Then the driver offered me a seat in the front with him so off we went. The trip through the Colombian mountains was both beautiful and a little scary. Hairpin turn and some crazy driving high in the mountains makes for an interesting day. There were 5 instances where landslides had occurred with only one serious enough to close the road for a while. Dozers and gravel trucks were working on it but we found a road around it. We also had a police encounter where everyone had to get off the bus. Not sure why since my Spanish is very limited. Have I mentioned that almost no one speaks English in South America. In Central America most speak at little some English it seems.

Got to Pasto around 5:30 pm, caught a cab and booked a room at Koala Hostel which was recommended by Lonely Planet. Private room with tv and wifi for only $8.50 night. Will catch another bus to the border of Ecuador and then to Quito. Not sure but expecting 5-6 hrs tomorrow and then 12 days in Quito seeing the sites in Ecuador and learning Spanish, hopefully.

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