Exploring Colombia: Sweet Cholados in Cali

Cholados in Cali, Colombia

by Joshua on March 17, 2012

I was a little disoriented by the hustle and bustle in El Dorado International Airport. As I rushed to depart Bogota, my Spanish language skills seemed to be fading just as I needed them most. Slow down!, I wanted to shout at the woman behind the counter. Why did every airport employee seem to want to speak at machine gun speed? No matter. I made it onto the plane to Cali.

The sight of the plane made me nervous. It was a two propeller (or 2-prop) plane. I’m not sure why this particular plane made me so nervous, but at that moment I longed for the powerful jet engines I had become accustomed to in the United States. Even U.S. Airways seemed not quite so bad from this vantage point.

Why so worried? I made it to Cali without a hitch!

The ride from airport to hotel was interesting, to say the least. Dozens of motorbikes zoomed  by our taxi. And riding on the back of almost every motorcycle I saw was a woman with the body of a Hip-Hop video vixen. What was this place? Cali, land of the vixens?

The hotel, Posada de San Antonio, was humble and quaint. But the open center courtyard, complete with rocking chairs and a fountain, made me feel like I had traveled back in time a few centuries and landed somewhere in the Iberian peninsula.

We were only in Cali for about three days, but there were plenty of highlights:

1. El Zoologico de Cali: The Cali Zoo. The animals were so much closer than any zoo I’d ever been to in the U.S. (I still think the bear in my pics wanted to maul us).

2. Fighting through traffic and wandering cows to get to the zoo.

3. Museo de la Caña de Azúcar: The Sugar Cane Museum. Spectacular grounds, impressive exhibits, and a delicious lunch of bandeja paisa and fresh squeezed lemonade.

4. Hacienda El Paraiso. Although I had trouble following the love story described by our tour guide, the museum itself was rather nice. And I’m so getting water canals built around my own home.

5. Drink-eating a deelish Cholado by the Canchas Panamericanas.

6. Buying bottled water from a ten year old boy working the graveyard shift. Oh Colombia, where are your child labor laws?

7. Salsa dancing in the Salsa capital of the world. Okay, I didn’t dance, but I did a damn good job holding up the wall.

So that was Cali in a nutshell. Alas, it was back to the airport and on to Cartagena!

Check out more of my Cali pics here.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rose March 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

Hey… I found a couple of places in NYC where we can get “cholados”…. so next time you’re in town… let’s check it out!


Joshua March 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Sounds good, let’s do it!


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