I left Salento, Colombia, in much the same manner I left Taganga: wondering why we were leaving at all. Luke was ready to party, however, and we had heard from multiple sources that Cali, Colombia was the place to do that.
If that is true, Luke and I were in the wrong spot. Along with a new Austrian friend, we went to the main strip identified in our (less than) trusty Lonely Planet. We attempted to pretend to be having fun, then went back to the hostel and crashed.
The following morning, we went with our new Australian friends (aren`t we wordly) straight to the bus stop to buy tickets back to Quito. As I found during my EuroTrip, ten days is about my quick-stop backpacking limit. But the overnight bus, the only one that wouldn`t put us in FARC country overnight, left at nine. How in the world were we going to spend the rest of the day?
We had promised to bring back to Ecuador some Colombian coffee, and Luke wanted a Colombian hat – both of which we found, the latter of which I lost on a bus back to Quito. Sorry Luke. The interesting bit about Colombian coffee, however, is that unless you are in Bogota, Colombian coffee is almost impossible to find in Colombia. Sounds nuts, right? The basic economic deal is that producers can make mountains of money by exporting coffee, and precious little selling it to Colombians. So it´s all exported. Which means that Luke and I, along with a new and entirely random Colombian friend, traveled all over Cali – and I mean all over Cali – and wound up buying untoasted coffee in a small shop that sold birdfood, fish, rice, beans, and dehydrated meats. We got ten pounds of it, called it a day, and headed back home.