Cali to San Cipriano – Motorcycle Rail Trolleys
Cali to San Cipriano – Motorcycle Rail Trolleys
I found a note that my Japanese friends from my room had left my sitting on top of my bag with their email addresses when I woke up. Apparently marijuana made me entertaining last night and they did not want to leave without giving me a way to contact them someday. Japanese are nice. Except in war…
I hung out with a Chinese girl for a couple of hours after we got back to the hostel. Asians are structured people. Wow. Ask one some questions some day about how they are going to achieve their goals. They are like time structured robots!
I went to bed at 4am so I was tired today at 10:30am when heard the Japanese close the door as they left. I decided that I would get out of town. Cali just feels like a big dirty city to me. I had made a lot of friends last night; the kind of friends where they are disappointed to know you are leaving. But I also met people in the hostel last night who today told me they were going to San Cipriano. Well, that sounded interesting. We were going to have to get to the town with no roads on some kind of motorcycle railcar created invention. Curiosity suckered me!
I got on a gas-brakes-gas-suicide pass-brakes-gas-swerve-pass van bus darting through traffic while blasting salsa with five new friends. After some machine gun Colombian soldier stop checks and terrific mountain views with goats for sale on the side of the road, we arrived at Córdoba where we were dropped off on the side of the highway and the bus continued on. We were the only six people to get dropped off. Gringos! A black man on the side of road lead us over a river by crossing wobbly cable bridge. He then took us up to the railroad tracks where many black men with motorcycles mounted on a wooden platform with seats on them were hanging out. The platforms were designed so that they had metal wheels that fit to the abandoned railroad tracks and the motorcycle mounted was in a position so that only its back wheel touched one of the rails. The platform seated six and the motorcycle driver charged us C$5,000 each. He filled his bike with gas from a coke bottle and started it to take us on our journey after he greased the wheels on his trolley platform. We were loaded with gringos, backpacks, and a motorcycle mounted at a 20 degree angle where the front tire rested on the platform and we drove at a speed excessive of what I was expecting as we raced down the railroad tracks. It was about a 20 minute ride with a lot of trolley-track screeching that included coming upon other trolleys coming our way to get out of San Cipriano who had to stop. It was a motorcycle driver battle of wills of who would have to remove their trolley and bike from the track so that the other could pass by. Our driver won the stare-down. The others got off their trolley and lifted it off the tracks to the side so that we could pass. They re-tracked and we were both off again in opposite directions. Amazing.
When we arrived in a dirt town with no vehicles that seemed to be where we wanted to be, a crowd of children lead us to a hostel in the town. One of them wanted my Colombian bracelet that I gave to him. The town is gorgeous with how real it is. The place is completely a community of black people and I have been told the entire Colombian Pacific coast is so because of the location of the sugar plantations and slavery of the day. That is fascinating.
We checked in to a C$20,000/night room, had dinner and then decided to get drunk off of local home-made alcohol. We spent C$32,000 total on two bottles, one of Viche which burned on the way down, and one of Arrechon, a gentle fruit and sugar made alcohol that was delicious. It was like sweet oatmeal. We played cards and drank moonshine until midnight. Home-made alcohol is a good get to know the people you are travelling with kind of adventure! I now have new great friends. One of them has told me that all of Colombia is similar to what I experienced with the women in Popayán. Gorgeous women who will get out of bed at 11pm, get dressed and come to meet you just because you called! That is going to work everywhere in Colombia!? Yes! That is great to hear! If a man did that in North America or the U.K. that woman in bed would be angry and insulted at your attempted booty-call and would probably never speak to you again had you only met her once in a bar one night before calling so late. Colombia rules!
$3.25 – Taxi from the hostel in Cali to the bus terminal.
$11.35 – Bus from Cali to Córdoba.
$2.70 – Motorcycle rail-trolley from Córdoba to San Cipriano.
$10.80 – Room for Two People at Hostel David.
$6.35 – Bottle of homemade Viche alcohol.
$10.80 – Bottle of delicious Arrechon alcohol.