December 4th, 2011

DAY 17


I had a strange dreams last night, the place I was living had a gas station with a food store that I would go to frequently. The strange part is that Kurt Cobain worked there, no one recognized who he was and he was happy there. The only person who know his real identity was a friend from university named Jason. Jason would go in occasionally and talk to Kurt some and hang out very casually. Sometimes dreams have messages for me, not sure what kind of message this one has for me.

I was up early for a trip to the Tatacoa Desert with several of the students from the university.

hummingbird flew into the car

A very sweet and tasty cactus fruit very juicy and refreshing, these were everywhere in abundance




I look small among these giants of the desert


The light is constantly changing in this region, every few minutes the clouds move around changing the light on the landscape.









Taking a break in the shade



Time for lunch!

First part of the meal was a hot soup, not pictured below


this was a lot of food! I could not eat all of it


This guy even talked to me in Spanish! my phrase book did not help much here


Quesillos on the left; Almohabanas on the right very tasty rice bread like things with panala filling

time for a refreshing after lunch drink

We were soon joined by a man who had probably at least his 6th beer in his hand, he was very friendly and said that his son knows English. He wanted me to meet his son, so he yelled over for his son to come join us who was eqaully drunk. Both of them were very friendly and Felipe said, we are very friendly people and even more so when drinking! One thing I have noticed in Colombia is they do not have the same concept of "personal space" like in the U.S. and when they have been drinking, even less so!

Jose fell asleep on the ride from the Tatacoa desert

We went into town and walked down The Malecon which runs along the Magdelena River. The Magdelena River holds some sacred meaning and is the only river which stretches across the whole country. There is also a myth about Mohan in the river too. Along the walkway in this area there are lots of gift shops, cafe's and restuarants. We stopped and had some coffee. The state we are in, Huila, has the distinction of growing the best coffee in the world.


The table had these coffee beans in it, not sure what each color means


on such a hot day, we opted for a cold Frappe' :) mmmmm

There is a very large structure in the form of Mohan the mythologicy being. We went inside and climbed the stairs to the top which gave a fantastic view of the city on one side and jungle on the other.

Mi amigos




The Magdelena River


The large image of Mohan



This was amazingly good!!


A man collecting firewood along the shore of the river, obviously for cooking, not heating!




We stopped and had some mamoncillo

This tells a story which represents freedom for Colombia. Cacica Gaitana, was a 16th century Páez woman leader who, in 1539-40, led the indigenous people of northern Cauca, Colombia in armed resistance against colonization by the Spanish. Pedro de Añasco had his eyes removed and was dragged by his head through the streets until he died. It is hard to see in this photo due to the sun being in the wrong place! But you can see Cacica Gaitana with a rope dragging Pedro de Añasco him by the head.


Another symbol of freedom seen everywhere, even in taxi's.

We took a taxi back to Sandra's and spent the rest of the evening in conversation, I tried some cactus wine and coffee wine. I really liked the coffee wine. It was 12 hours later when this day ended with my new friends here and I am being challenged even more so to want to come back!


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