Where is my mind?

I like to take my time when travelling and discover new places. But Dorine had planned to be back in Ecuador on a certain date and I wanted to continue travelling with her for a few more days. Also, admittedly, every now and then, it is good to have someone who gives me a kick in the ass to go a bit faster. Our next stop was Salento, in the department of the Quindío, Colombia’s coffee region.

No direct buses from Medellín though. It was first a 5 hours’ drive to Pereira. And, from there, one more hour to Salento.

We hadn’t been on the way for more than an hour, when I realised I had forgotten my camera battery and my charger in our hostel in Medellín. The kind of thing which makes me want to cry. I had a spare one but it was almost empty and, for sure, I couldn’t go for a walk while not being able to rely 100% on my most precious belonging. See beautiful things and not being able to capture them is like torture to me. If there was one thing I was able to make a drama about, it was that one. It felt even worse than when I realised I lost my money in Mendoza. No working camera, no life. Plain simple.

Luckily, I knew exactly where I had left it and we had Lucy’s contact details. After a quick call, everything was arranged to send the missing items to Pereira.

When I mentioned to Dorine the fact that it was Friday and that there would probably be no postal delivery on the following day, as it would be Saturday, she laughed: “Typical European reaction.” In Colombia, you have buses riding every day of the week and those same buses will transport anything you need to send to another city. They don’t do home delivery, but they are quick.

When I was in Bogotá, I had a similar discussion with Felipe. We were talking about counterfeiting and how Colombian authorities have been trying to fight it. But there are thousands of people making a living out of the selling of illegal copies of music and films and they claim their right to work.
– The right to work is sacred here.
– Funny. What is sacred in Europe is one’s right to a holiday.
When your head is upside down, I guess so is the way you are looking at things.

Men at work.
Men at work.

So buses do ride on week-ends. And on Fridays. But the services from Pereira to Salento are quite irregular. The next one would leave in about three hours. We therefore did what a traveller in South America does most when he’s not on the bus. We waited for the bus to come.


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