Meeting other backpackers

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The two last days in Cali after the intensive work on the farm were fantastic! I met with a friend of a friend, went to a reggae concert, arranged my teeth appointment which was a pure disappointment, got to know the old part of Cali San Antonio from inside-out…. and of course had the best time with Mario and Madeleine.

I was going to leave Cali on Tuesday night but was feeling a bit tired and Mario said “Come on, stay a bit longer to play ‘the daughter’ a bit more.” I was debating. “What is your heart telling you?” asked Madeleine? So, I stayed and decided to leave in the morning.

I woke up at 5:30am, had two pieces of integral bread, packed, kissed goodbyes and took a taxi to the terminal. After strolling around I found the best price for the bus and took a front seat next to a Colombian guy. It was tight and uncomfortable so I decided to move to the very back of the bus.

My side of the story: A few minutes later a very very very tall white guy with blond hair and a back pack showed up on the platform. He was taking the same bus. Since he was big and the only seat available for big people was the one next to me, he sat down.

Thank you God, I thought. For the past few days I was getting cold feet going south by myself. The south of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru is where you start feeling a cultural and appearance difference and people look at you as if you were from another planet. I was hoping to meet someone to at least cross the border. And here he was.

“Do you speak English?” I asked. –Yeah yeah, he said.

Then followed the most common and boring question:

-Where are you from? He was from Switzerland.

His side of a story:

I walk to put my backpack to the suitcase compartment, saw another backpack and thought “Oh, there must be a backpacker on this bus!” I walked in, looked around and didn’t see anyone. Then I found the most comfortable spot for my legs on the back and then:

“Do you speak English?”

*****Then we talked for about nine hours. He bought a ticket to Popayan, and was supposed to get off about 4 hours before my final destination.

“It’s my birthday tomorrow, do you want to come?” I asked.

He bought a ticket extension and we were met by Gloria and Juan Ricardo in Pasto. There we spent five days, celebrated my Birthday with a strawberry cake and salsa music, visited Laguna, and took off to Ecuador.

I was crying ton the way to terminal and Gloria was crying saying goodbye. I definitely got very attached to the people and the country here.

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