Colombia
Cali

Here you’ll find travel reports about Cali. Discover travel destinations in Colombia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

51 travelers at this place:

  • Day99

    Cali, salsa, baleines et Petronio

    August 20, 2017 in Colombia

    Nous avons quitté Salento en debut d'après midi et nous avons mis 6h et deux bus pour rejoindre Cali. Nous nous installons donc en fin de journée dans le quartier de San Antonio assez pratique pour rayonner dans la ville.

    Le lendemain on explore le "parque de los Gatos" où on trouve des sculptures de chats partout (le kiff) puis on grimpe au mirador de las 3 cruces pour avoir une vue d'ensemble de la ville.... la montée sous le cagnasse à 11h30 c'était peut être pas une bonne idée.... mais on a une vue d'ensemble.

    Puis on redescend vers le centre. On mange un bout dans un resto sur le chemin où on sympathise avec une serveuse adorable.

    Cali compte beaucoup d'églises et la plus belle reste Ermitia. Malheureusement elle est fermée donc on ne verra que l'extérieur, qui est déjà sublime.

    Et puis je tombe par hasard sur un flyers qui parle d'un "tour à la journée" pour voir les baleines... on avait abandonné l'idée pour des raisons de budget et de temps mais là.... on se renseigne à l'agence direct et on décide de tenter l'aventure.

    Le soir on se rend au festival du Petronio (festival sur la culture du pacifique=culture afrocolombienne). Ici le blanc se fait rare mais nous retrouvons comme convenu Julien (rencontré à la Guajira) et sa petite famille. On profite un peu du festival et en particulier de la musique... c'est blindé, faut dire que c'est très réputé et chaque année ça attire des milliers de personnes.

    Puis on saute dans un taxi avec Julien sa belle soeur et un ami direction LE bar à salsa de Cali : La topa...
    Ambiance au top, déco vintage et bonne musique pour danser. Je me fais inviter pour plusieurs danses... bilan : je suis rouillée! Et à minuit trente un groupe débarque et c'est salsa LIVE! Grande classe! J'ai bien transpiré! Greg a bien rigolé. On déclare forfait à 1h car demain on vient nous chercher à 6h du mat pour les baleines.

    Malgré la courte nuit on est OP à 6h. 3h de route nous attende puis 2h de bateau. Nous sommes 9 + la guide. A part le couple d'allemands, le reste du groupe est plutôt creux... La route passe bien (même si ça tourne grave) et on s'arrête pour un delicieux petit dej. Le bateau par contre c'est plus difficile. Ca secoue fort, et à un moment on prend la pluie et de grosses vagasses dans la tronche ... on est rincés! Et un des moteurs a visiblement un problème... bref l'arrivée à Juanchaco est cahothique. Mais le village est mignon et la plage (avec un sable noir d'origine volcanique) a son charme. En plus le soleil sort et nous sèche rapido.

    Deuxième bateau direct pour voir les baleines. Woooowww en quelques minutes il y en a déjà une bien grosse qui remonte respirer près de nous. On ne saurait pas trop vous raconter dans le détail car on était à fond dans le moment mais on a vu une dizaine de baleines (des mamans et des bébés). Elles ont souvent respiré, sont remontées à la surface, ont parfois claqué la queue, parfois tourné sur elles même, parfois sauté et une a tourné en sautant et on a bien vu le ventre blanc. Un moment MAGIQUE de notre voyage assurément.

    Evidemment les photos sont pas terribles car difficile de cliquer au bon moment et on a essayé de profiter avec les yeux et pas derrière l'appareil. Au final on a passé presque 2h à les chercher et à les observer. Nous revenons à Juanchaco pour un délicieux mais énorme déjeuner. Le temps d'un petit tour sur la plage et il est déjà temps de rentrer.

    Le retour se fait en silence (on dort tous plus ou moins... la journée a été pleine d'émotions et a commencé tôt). Demain nous quittons Cali pour aller plus au sud à Popayan.
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  • Day9

    ... dann hat es geregnet, der Motorradfahrer ist nass geworden und muss nun im Hotelzimmer irgendwie die Sachen für den nächsten Fahrtag trocken bekommen. Schon in der Nacht geht über Manizales ein beachtlicher Regenguss nieder, begleitet von - für deutsche Verhältnissse - ungewöhnlich lautem Donner. Überhaupt ist die Wettervorhersage für die nächsten Tage mies. Und so erwischt es uns nach einer ersten schönen Fahrstunde schon bald heftig. Das Ganze hat ein Gutes: Erstmals kommt die Regenausrüstung zum Einsatz, und jeder von uns weiß nun, wie lange alles dichthält. Ich beispielsweise kann sagen, dass die in D durchaus sorgfältig aufgesprühte Imprägnierung nicht ausreicht, um länger als eine Stunde im Regen halbwegs trocken zu bleiben. Das senkt in Verbindung mit den in den Anden noch zu erwartenden Wetterverhältnissen etwas meine Stimmung, obwohl der Tag sonst eine schöne Sighseeingstrecke für uns bereithält.

    Aber der Regen erklärt zugleich, warum Kolumbien so grün ist. Und es ist wirklich grün zwischen Manizales und Cali. Wir wählen eine Nebenroute und fahren durch üppige, intensiv bewirtschaftete Flächen. Die Straßen wirken oft wie Alleen und werden durch breitgefächerte Bäume geradezu überdacht, vermutlich heißen sie "la Bonga", und ich finde, diese Baumart hat das Initialbild des heutigen Footprints verdient. Der Manizales-Kaffee (Arabica) wird durch Zuckerrohr abgelöst (und dasselbe durch beeindruckend große Lastzüge abtransportiert, aber auch an diesen kann man sich vorbeischlängeln), auch Wein wird angebaut und ... Guanabane. Ein grüne, stachelige, ananasgroße Frucht, die wir en passant kennenlernen, ein Feldweg führt uns zu einer entsprechenden Plantage und einige Arbeiter lassen uns kosten (frisch, süß-sauer, nicht schlecht, aber irgendwie matschig im Biss).

    Unser Lunchbreak etwas abseits der Straße führt zum Menschenauflauf, ich denke, das wird uns noch oft passieren. Werden wir am Anfang noch mit etwas Sicherheitsabstand bestaunt, sind vor allem die Kinder nach wenigen Minuten nah an uns und gerne auf den Bikes. Das letzte Bild zeigt übrigens Katrin in einem dieser kurzen und vergänglichen, aber irgendwie auch herzlichen und ehrlichen Freundschaftsmomente, die uns die kolumbianischen Ninos schenken.

    Katrin und Martin (auf dem Guanabane-Bild rechts) fahren zusammen (!) auf einer GSA 1200, was von beiden eine bewunderswerte Leistung darstellt. Und Katrin sind viele Bilder dieses Blogs zu verdanken, da sie als Einzige die Hände frei hat und - manchmal kühn auf dem Rücksitz balancierend - während der Fahrt fotografiert. Auch ich versuche in dieser Hinsicht heute etwas Neues und habe erstmals die GoPro umgeschnallt (Danke, lieber Felix). Immerhin könnt Ihr so einmal meine Cockpit-Perspektive sehen, die meisten Bilder sind aber leider nichts geworden, denn der Brustgurt sitzt zu tief und die Batterie ist sehr schnell alle. Ihr merkt, was Euch im Weiteren blüht: Viel Text, wenig Bild. Old school eben.
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  • Day147

    Cali, Salsa capital of the world

    September 18 in Colombia

    It was always on the cards to head here as good old Quantic lives here. I say lives as he moved to New York just before I left on my travels, never mind eh?!
    Cali is the centre of the universe for Salsa and the city is very much alive with it! Good job for me, I found a couple of dutchies in Salento who were going my way, so we all went together. Then, just as we got off the bus, I bumped into Syarda for like the 6th time. I thought she’d gone home to Holland, but no, so we scooped her up too and jumped in a taxi, 4 big bags strapped to the roof of a tiny Hyundai.
    Once in the hostel, I bumped into a few more people and before you know it, there were about 10 of us having a drink. Then we hit the town to see what this Salsa lark was all about, it was crazy! So much fun!
    The next day, the plan was to do a walking tour and then go out dancing again, after a group lesson this time, and that’s what we did! I bumped i to another couple I knew and they joined us for the lesson. We all headed out and got to the club, but first, we discovered that the off-licence across the street served booze, just like a bar. Good job too, as we found out that the couple were on a big honeymoon trip, so there was a round of 16 very large tequilas went down. Boom! Not much happened the next day, apart from food, but we did plan a little day trip to San Sipreano, which is not heard of.
    We got up quite early and headed to the bus terminal, found a shuttle and jumped on.
    The bus dropped us at the side of the highway where we were shown to a shed to by tickets. Not really knowing what was going, we bought the tickets and crossed an Indiana Jones-like bridge across a deep ravine. Once on the other side we found a railway track, and what can only be described as a shipping palette fixed to a motor bike! There were 9 of us in the end, crammed on a wooden bench, motor bike with the front wheel up, back wheel on one of the tracks, and off we went. A crazy ride for 6km down a semi-disused railway track at 40kph, soooo much fun!! And no one died.
    The next adventure was to walk to 3 waterfalls, with inflated innertube around neck, and we set off into the jungle. We had a guide, so he showed us the way, ditched the tubes after crossin the river, then headed up hill. The waterfalls were fun, getting there was very muddy and humid, but we got a swim in each, then a couple hours later, found ourselves back at our tubes. We then all hoped into the river and slowly made our way back to where we started, down some gentle waterfalls. Nice.
    Once back and dried off, we sort about getting our turbo trolly-bike pallet-bench, a further 6km down the track to the next town. It was getting dark, and raining, so this added a whole new level to the danger, we were all tired, but smiling!! After a bit of faff, we found our way back to Cali, a few hours up the road, home late, but a great day out.
    Knowing that everyone would be trashed, I sought out a swimming pool on the Wednesday. Once I’d found one, it was awesome, the only problem being that it was for members and lessons only during the day. My Spanish is no where near the level need med to sweet talk an old guy on the security desk, but 10 minutes later, I was in the managers office, with a swimming coach, who could speak some English, and it was agreed I could have an hour in the pool. Bangin’!! Oh, and I was the only one in there, what luck!!
    As I was getting out of the pool, I saw someone else doing lengths. I walked past his lane and called me over. He was a local student paramedic and wondered what I was doing there. I told him and he offered to show me round a little, perfect! We headed to a market and got some food, he showed me a few salsa spots, then we ended up and his friends drumming studio, near my hostel, where I got a short lesson on traditional Pacific drumming. This is what happens when you head off by yourself!
    I got back to the hostel and told the guys, who’d done nothing, so I felt a little bit lucky. We then got on the beers in readiness for another night out, and Syarda‘ slays one before heading home.
    Heading out to the same club, I found that there was a jazz club tow doors down, which was free. I paid into the salsa club, drank a beer and headed next door by myself. What I found was an 18 piece jazz big band about to start, I couldn’t believe my luck, the club only sat about 80 people and I stood at the back. They were unbeliveable! The type of thing you’d pay £40 for in Ronnie Scott’s. I sent the rest of the night between dancing and watching the band. The next day was a bit of a right off, but made plans to head south with one of the crew, a kiwi girl called Kirsty, to a town called Popayán, half way to the boarder.
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  • Day245

    Cautious in Cali

    March 31 in Colombia

    After a three-and-a-half-hour bus journey, we arrived in Cali, the salsa capital of the world. As we approached our apartment in the downtown area, we noticed that the streets were almost deserted except for a few homeless people, who had set up their temporary abode outside our apartment building. It was Easter Saturday but it felt as if the World had ended and Armageddon was approaching. Most of the people on the streets appeared to be under the influence of some kind of mind-altering substance, as they roamed about like zombies; some sat in broad daylight as they pulled out their pipe to fed their addiction or laid on the ground sniffing fumes in a plastic bag. It was if the outside world didn't exist and they lived in a parallel universe.

    We had been warned, especially by our Colombian friends, that we needed to be cautious in Colombia because our pasty-white skin and tall stature would be a dead giveaway that we were gringos. And to many, gringos equals a walking ATM (cajero automatico) with lots of cash at their disposal. The murder rates in Cali also didn't fill us with a sense of security, even though police and private security guards were seen throughout the city. Some neighbourhoods even hire watchmen, armed with a large machete, to keep guard over the street. Apparently, the municipal government of Cali spends much less on public security than any other major city in Colombia. And it is evident on the streets.

    During the daylight hours, we were courageous enough to venture out into public, avoiding any areas that looked as if we might be express kidnapped. At one point, we needed to make a quick detour to avoid a young guy who whipped out a machete from his bag. And as we walked through Parque Simón Bolivar, we heard a voice call out in English. At first, we ignored the voice and continued to walk. The voice started getting louder, so we turned and acknowledged the man. The man began shouting words that we’re fairly certain were intended to be welcoming but the tone had the opposite affect. We simply thanked him and continued on our way.

    On Easter Sunday, we happened to stumble upon a church service and tried to sneak in the back entrance. Insert crude joke. But we only got to the door of the church before the parishioners started wishing each other a Happy Easter and, as they filed past us, they started shaking our hand and muttering some words. Exit stage right before the place goes up in flames. In fact, it was exit stage right out of the city before we were express kidnapped or sold into human slavery to become drug-addicted prostitutes.

    Next stop: Armenia

    For video footage, see:
    https://youtu.be/vo_33MmG4io
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  • Day3

    Cali

    July 25 in Colombia

    Colombia was not on our itinerary when we left home however because we met so many travellers that advised us to visit we decided that we had to. Our first port of call was Cali which is famous for Salsa dancing. Unfortunately I was not able to persaude Rob to take lessons with me but we did end up in a cafe listening to Salsa music for a while which was a nice alternative.

    We walked around the city and found a park that has statues of cats before walking uphill to San Antonio church to get a beautiful view over the city. Unfortunate the rain came soon after we arrived so we didn't get to spend long admiring the view. We ran for shelter in a shop and ended up talking to a local man about music. I say talking but as our Spanish is only very basic and his Colombian accent was very strong and difficult to understand we ended up just saying famous bands and singers from the 80s/90s to each other. Once we couldn't think of any more famous musicians we said our goodbyes and wandered onto the main plaza called Cayzedo plaza that is full of Palm trees. We couldn't figure out way the square looked so familiar until we returned back to our hostel and Google said that the plaza is used alot in the TV show Narcos.

    There wasn't a huge amount to do in Cali but that gave us time to explore the city at our own pace over two days and talk to locals. Visiting Colombia already seems like a good decision.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Cali, Santiago de Cali, كالي, Kali, Кали, Κάλι, کالی, סנטיאגו דה קאלי, Կալի, サンティアゴ・デ・カリ, კალი, 칼리, Calium, Kalis, ਸਾਂਤਿਆਗੋ ਦੇ ਕਾਲੀ, Cáli, கலி, กาลี, Калі, 卡利

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