Cali Columbia
Tip: Got in car too fast - Bad advice on safe choices - Negotiate price of hotel - Try the food - Calculator if confused - Drawers in backpack.

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Cali Columbia


HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  007
DATE:  April 19, 2000
TITLE:  Cali Colombia
TIP:  Got in car too fast - Bad advice on safe choices - Negotiate price of hotel - Try the food - Calculator if confused - Drawers
LOCATION:  Cali, Colombia

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Volume 1, Issue 7 - Hobotraveler.com
April 18, 2000

For travelers that, DO NOT WANT TO GO HOME!
Buccaneer's, Blockade Runner's, & Adventurer's - Hobo’s
Please send to a friend!!! or send email address to

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Travel Tips by Andy the Hobo                                  

COLUMBIA!!! Pasto, Cali, and on to Bogota.

I left Octavalo, Ecuador, crossing the border, into Columbia . I arrived at the border
at 9 a.m. in the morning, friendly, nice, and simple. Was escorted by police, from
Columbia to the immigration office. No bribe, just a good guy.
I think he was talking to himself, wondering, who this Gringo was, with 2 very
large backpacks. I have to admit. I do look a little strange.

I stayed in Pasto. confused and a little worried. There is so much gossip,
about whether it is safe to go from Pasto, to Cali by land. I finally
decided to take a colectivo Taxi. Or otherwise a normal taxi, that
I shared with some other people. Very good trip.

This country has extreme differences. The driver would fasten his
seat belt when near the police. I guess the law for
seat belts is enforced, and yet there are killings by guerillas, on a regular
basis. Road are great, safe, and the people very honest. They do not
seem try to raise the prices all the time, like some countries.
The type of travelers in this country has change, a lot less people
studying Spanish, and more smoking marijuana, and drinking. But
of course. Cali, Columbia is one of the Cocaine capitals of the world.

The country is full of green mountains, and rivers. A great place
to grow food, or crops. Coming from Peru to Columbia the land has change
from a very dry, gravel, desert in Peru, to a lush, wet, loamy, black soil of Columbia.
Peru appears to be the poorest, than Ecuador, with Columbia the richest
of the three countries. I do not think the USA needs to give any money
to this country, but I am sure the Colombian politicians would love to have some...


I have found it safe to travel through Columbia, and if you
wish some advice. please feel free to write.

I stayed in the Koala Hotel, in Pasto, and presently
at the Platypus Hostel in Bogota.


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II    TRAVEL TIPS


Theft
I got in a car, too quickly.
I was walking down the street in Pasto, Columbia. An
attractive girl waved at me, from across the street. She waved for me to
come and visit. How could I stop myself? OK, so I went over, and talked, and
small crowd gathered. We talked and discussed various things.
The girl ask if I would like to go with them to a bar. I said yes. I thought
we would walk down the street. In couple of minutes a car pulls
up, and we all jumped into the car. We drove about 5 minutes, until I was
sure that I would not know the way home. I thought to myself. I hope these
people are nice. I was away from the hotel, I did not know how to return, and
only had just met these people.
Advice. Do NOT do this. Know where you are going, and do not go with
someone the first day you meet them. Stay in your own areas of comfort.
This especially applies to women.

Transportation
Bad Advice.
I ask a British Girl in Koala Hostel in Cali, Columbia how to travel to Bogota.
She recommended that I take the night bus.
She said she always ask the locals,
what is safe. If they say its safe, than it is safe.
This was the most dangerous thing I have every heard.
We are not locals, we are foreigners. There is a world of difference. They want
our money, They do not want the locals. They are everywhere. This advice
could get you killed. Next came a guy to hand over some pot to her. He
did not want to carry while traveling.
The local people are not foreigners, they do not have the same problems.
If one person travels though a places safely, it does not mean it is safe for all.


Hotels
Negotiate the price.
I stayed at hotel in Mantanita, Ecuador. A nice place. I paid the price asked,
then realized that the price, for all of the new arrivals, kept changing.
I learned that they were getting better prices. This is a difficult thing to find out,
but if I would had offered less, I would have paid less. If you are traveling on a shoestring,
make an offer. Then proceed to walk out. They will either lower the price,
or just say goodbye. It never hurts to offer.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.



Food,
Careful you do not insult
In Pasto, I went to lunch with some local Colombians, at the house of their
mother. She cooked this large meal, with various types of food.
I do not like lots of types of food, and it became very difficult to refuse. I
sometime ask, what we are having prior to accepting an offer, this way
I let me know immediately that I am choosy, and do not like certain types
of food. The Latino culture, can be very offended, if you do not try the food.
NOTE!! If a girlfriend offers you food. Eat it, and love it. Or learn the
hard way like me.
Try the food, if offered.

Money:
Use calculator if confused.
I withdrew some Sucres in Ecuador from the Automatic Teller Machine.
I became confused on how much I needed. I realized that, I had taken out
3 time the amount of money that I needed when, I
figured out the exact echoing rate. It is easier to take money out of the ATM machine
than to put it back in. I then had enough money to last me a month. Way more
than I like to carry. The time to determine how much money,
money you need, is back at the hotel, with a calculator.
If confused do not get money, or stop.

Packing:
I have drawers in my suitcase.
I used to open my backpack, and have to pull out all my clothes to find the
shirt I wanted. It was so disorganized, and I could not keep my stuff clean.
Most of the hostels, or hotels I stay in have neither clothes, dressers, or
anyplace to leave my clothes. The solution I found for this was to buy separate
small bags. I have a total of 12 separate small bags in my backpack. I can
open my backpack, and dump in on the floor, without a problem. I also use
plastic zip lock bags.
Compartmentalize you possessions

As always these are guidelines, and not always true. Adapt to the situation.


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III     QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND ANSWERS FROM READERS

PLACES TO STAY?
Australian girls want to know the best ways to travel cheap in the USA.
Tom wants a place to stay in Ixtapa, Mexico
I need places in Bogota, Medellin, and Cartegena Columbia,
The answer: I recommend the Koala in Pasto. Casa Familiar Popoyan,
Calidad House, Cali, and the PLatypus in Bogotá.

INTERNET CAFE’S?
Cynthia from Sydney, Australia want some advice on how to improve her internet cafe.
The answer: Update to most recent versions of Explorer, or Netscape. Make sure there
is not call waiting on your telephone lines.

SAVE MONEY?
Does anyone have an expense log, that would show cost of their travels?

FUN LINKS?
How to say life is good in different languages

JOBS?
Can anyone recommend work for travels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark?

TRANSPORTATION?
Need companies that sell around the world ticket.

I am traveling through South America. I would like to travel to Europe in
about 6 months from one of the cities in South America. I would like the
website, or email address of a Airplane ticket consolidator, that you have use,
and would recommend?

People traveling in South America right NOW

Place to work in Europe for one month

Place to work for all the travelers that do not ever want to go home,
or types of jobs. Where, What, How much?

COMPUTER
Someone tell me how to clean my A drive, on my Compaq Presario portable computer?
It sometimes freezes, or locks up. Not fun, I have to shut it off to stop it.
THANKS TO DAN, From Canada. Met in Playa Del Carmen.


THE WORLDS BEST HOSTELS?

Please submit
http://www.hobotraveler.com/route.htm

5 PLACE YOU MUST SEE?

Recommend 5 places you absolutely must visit in any particular country.

WORST PROBLEMS?

Tell me the worst problem with traveling, that you would like a solution for?

Anja from Holland replied to newsletter. She said, "the worst problem about travel, is that it is ADDICTIVE."


THEFT?
An examples of traveler theft, and the solution?

CHEAPEST COUNTRIES?

Recommend countries that the exchange rate makes life easy?
Ecuador... Guatemala is good

DEBATES? Tell me your opinion.

Is it better to carry your money all the time. Give to hostel owner. Hide,
etc? Is it better to carry your passport on you, or a copy when walking around a city.



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IV   FUTURE TRAVEL PLAN
I am in Bogotá, going to Medellin. I have decided, to stop in some
small towns along the way. Guaduas, Manizales, Ceja
I will finally get to Medellin for a few days.
After that the countries of Guyana, Surinama, and Brazil.
Just got my yellow fever shots.

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