Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The White City

La Ermita, Popayan
Today we went off to Popayan. We've been staying in Pati's aunt and uncle's house in Palmira, close to Cali, and Popayan was a reasonably smooth two hour drive south from here. The last time I was there was in 1997, and I had good memories of the place - mainly white memories, as the whole of the city centre is maintained in what I presume is its original colonial colour scheme - white. Popayan is 1760m above sea level, so it was fresher than Palmira, which at 1000m above sea level has been doing a good impression of an open air furnace since we've been here.


The trip home was a nightmare, basically because Colombian drivers have no inkling that their undipped headlights might blind other road users, combined with the fact that a startlingly large number of vehicles on the road home travelled with no visible lighting at all. Top marks to the bloke who went past in the opposite direction on his motorbike though - no helmet on, trundling along the "hard shoulder" and clutching a hand torch to his unlit scooter. The lord loves a tryer. The only benefit to coming back after dark is that it is presumably far too dangerous for the traffic cops to be out with their radar guns. Much better to be tucked up in the station than chance taking a pot shot from the rebels, eh?

Window grills

More white stuff in Popayan