11.11.2011 - 15.11.2011
As I had missed Halim at the bus station his Colombian friend Cesar popped over to my hostel to see if I was ok which was sweet. He had also arranged for me to get on the correct bus to Pasto where Halim would be waiting for me. So I set off on another long arse bus journey. The only thing that I can remember that struck me on the bus journey was that the portion sizes of the lunches here are HUGE! I ended up asking for a doggy bag as there was no way I was gonna finish the meal. I did have an American guy who was very quite, who had to deal with long journey sickness we didn’t have much in common apart from our Spanish was not that great. I did practise my Spanish though on the bus journey as I was lucky to have a really nice old lady who had helped me by asking me questions and corrected my structure and pronunciations.
Arrived Pasto in the evening, in traffic and I was glad to see Halim at the bus station! We headed towards the Cesar’s aunts house as Halim was staying there. I was greeted by a healthy serving of dinner – I was still stuffed from lunch but knowing that the aunt was preparing the food just for you, you eat! I must have pilled on stones since leaving London hahahaha – all I seem to do at the moment is move from 1 place to another and eat like 4 or more times a day. Halim had left the next day to make his way towards Ecuador as he had a flight to catch for the Galapagos Islands. I didn’t want to outstay my stay at the aunts’ house so I thought I would stay for 1 night only and make my way towards the boarder. That afternoon after finished my lunch and watching Fantastic Four in English yay the aunt and her 10yr old nephew Kevin just told me that they were moving house – boy did that throw a spanner in the works as I didn’t know whether that was them saying you got to go – but through my broken Spanish they were happy for me to stay. So there I was helping this Colombian family move house after being in there house for not even 24hrs lol. The Colombian do not mess when they need something done. We had moved, settled in their new house by 10pm, had dinner and all rooms were ready for bed time.
During my stay at the Restrepo’s I had regular Spanish classes as no one spoke English lol. The aunt taught me some everyday Colombian dishes, we went shopping together just done normal everyday chores which was nice. The dad took me to his work place – at a military school yay men in uniform mmmm :o) and I was lucky to see a Colombian military wedding which took place in the evening. Maria-Luiz (the aunt) and Kevin took me to Laguna de la Cocha it is Colombian’s largest and one of most (in my opinion) beautiful lakes. It is surrounded by wooden houses painted in bright colours’ many of them were either budget hostels or restaurants serving fresh trout. We took a motor boat to take us around the lake and we also went on a little trek to see the lake from man-made view point. It was a nice day and nice of Maria-Luiz to take me here! She did not ask or want me to pay for anything during my stay and for this day trip! I spent some time with Maria best friend who had invited for an evening meal and some salsa, meringue and reggaeton dance classes all in Spanish!
After a few days at the Restrepo’s I decided to meet up with Alexander Barrera who is the vice president of Colombia CS. I stayed at his house for 1 day, 1 evening – he showed me around Pasto. I tried some amazing traditional ice-cream to me it was like a sorbet (no dairy) but tasted creamy. The way the ice-cream is made in a big steel bowl with another outer bowl filled with loads of ice. Both the bowls where being hand whisked with a metal spoon over and over again to produce this amazing non dairy ice-cream! Pasto is an area that not many in fact hardly anyone actually goes to see it only to get to Ipiales (the boarder crossing) but for me I had a great time there. Pasto has an really big and clean shopping malls, surrounded by huge mountains everything is modern but you can still see traditional clothing worn by the locals – just feels cosy.