March 08, 2008 GMT
DAY 31 - Such an amazing place

"PARADISE IS WHERE I AM". Voltaire

I have just been made aware that this hotel and the last, which have a place to eat and petrol station are frequently used by truckies, the ladies from the old profession stand outside the joint. I was only told because i asked the manager who kept knocking on the doors last night.


The south route number 25 is a good road, we left before 7. In Palmira we had breakfast. Cali is a huge city with 2.4 million people. We came at 18kms from it as we (Shorty and I) have acquired a certain hate for large cities, traffic lights, traffic and a sea of people so we avoid them as much as possible.


FYI: (for your information)
There was lots of sugar cane in the area and bars are called ESTANCO.


The road was flat until some 60 kms before Popayan, where the beautiful mountains started. There was lots of evidence of landslides, red soil and road closures. We enjoyed this stretch, we stopped at a supermarket to eat. We continued on. We want to head towards San Agustin now to see the archaeological park.

Some 25 kms before Popayan i found my Shangri-la, a place called Coco nuco amongst mountains with hot springs and waterfalls. The hotel is on the outskirts of the town it looks like a monastery with a very cosy ambiance. So peaceful, people walking through the mountainside, birds chirping. Such serenity that my soul has been given to this place. Hotel Comfandi wanted $100000 COP but it was given to me for $75000 as an affiliate, all meals included. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


At the dinning room, everyone had conversation. Without comparing i was reminded of the german villages. We went to the center of town looking for an internet cafe but there were no connections, so we were sent to a school. I went into a classroom the teacher very friendly sent a child to get the computer coordinator. When the children went for morning tea we were invited to join them for rice pudding. So off we went to the kitchen where the cook had two cups ready for us. Everything very humble but the generosity in this country of Colombia has no boundaries. The coordinator took us to the computer lab, to our amazement there were about 40 computers all old and donated by the community. Unfortunately, there was no connection due to maintenance. We were then guided to the council but we returned to the hotel instead. Later i went to the council on the motorbike, but they only have internet from 9 to 11am.

Dinner with wildberry juice.


In this last stretch we noted a lot of military presence. Also, a great percentage of the population is of African origin and according to the Lonely Planet the majority of them maintain their traditions and beliefs.

Coconuco.jpg Coconuco, hotel.jpg

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Día 31……………………..Jueves 28


Estos dos últimos hoteles donde pasamos la noche que tienen para comer y estación de servicio lo usan mucho los camioneros y las chicas de la vieja profesión se instalan enfrente, esto me entere hoy cuando le pregunte al cuidador quien era golpeando en las puertas toda la noche, prepaid le pregunte (Así le llaman) si me contesto.

La sur 25 esta muy bien la carretera, salimos antes de la siete. En Palmira tomamos un cafecito con empanadas de guayaba, estuvimos a 18 kms de Cali una ciudad de 2.4 millones , nosotros tomamos un tipo de odio a ciudades grandes, semáforos, calor y gente y mas gente, así que la evitamos en lo posible, muchas cañas de azúcar en el camino.

A los bares le llaman Estanco.

Todo plano hasta que llegamos a unos 60 kms antes de Popayán donde empezaron las montañas divinas, muchos derrumbamientos, tierra roja y nuestra vía cerrada, teníamos que tomar la opuesta

Disfrutamos pila la carretera, paramos en un super mercado a comer. En todos los lugares de comida en el camino venden Sancocho de ave, pescado, carne luce muy lindo y me gustaría probarlo pero como los carritos………..la higiene.

Seguimos viaje a San Agustín para ver el parque Arqueológico, con tanta lluvia en el área la carretera mala, toda levantada, varios derrumbes, las vistas excelentes a unos 25 kms de Popayán encontré mi Shangai-la en el pueblo de Coco nuco entre las montañas con sus aguas termales y saltos de agua, el hotel esta afuera de del pueblo parece un monasterio con un ambiente muy acogedor, gente caminando por las montañas una tranquilidad, pájaros cantando, una serenidad que este lugar me compro el alma Hotel Comfandi en Coconuco querían 100.000.00 pero me lo dejaron como afiliado por 75.000.00 con cena desayuno y almuerzo H.R.

El ambiente, la gente en el comedor de gran charla, no quiero comparar pero me hizo acordar a las aldeas alemanas.

Fuimos al pueblo caminando por Internet y no había conexión, nos mandaron a la escuela, entramos y fui a una clase, la maestra muy simpática mando una de las alumnas a buscar a la señora encargada de la sala de computación, quedamos charlando y mando a los niños y niñas a la merienda, al ratito llega una chica a decirnos que estamos invitados a comer arroz con leche, allá fuimos a la cocina donde la cocinera ya tenia preparados dos tazas, todo muy humilde pero la generosidad de esta Colombia no tiene limites. Llego la señora del Internet que nos llevo a una sala para nuestra sorpresa como con 40 computadoras, viejas, donadas por la gente y gobierno, prendió todos los aparatos pero nada funcionaba, nos comento que estaba todo en mantenimiento, se disculparon porque no nos podían ayudar y nos mandaron a hablar con un joven en la Alcaldía, pero regresamos al hotel, hace ya tres días que no escribo en Hotmail y no porque no quiero. Mas tarde fui a la Alcaldía en moto solo, hable con el muchacho pero tienen Internet solo de 9 a 11 de la mañana.

Cena con jugo de moras.

Mucha presencia militar en este ultimo tramo y notamos que el gran porcentaje de la población es de origen africano, según Lonely Planet la mayoría sigue sus viejas costumbres y creencias.

Posted by Hugo Albini at March 08, 2008 09:30 AM GMT
 



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