Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cali visit - Helmut

Cali Visit
We visited Rocio’s relatives in Califor 3 days. We had a very nice stay at Rocio’s cousin Esneda Canizales with her parents Fanni and Bertino. Her cousin and my cousin politico took his time to show us Cali and surroundings. What a change since I was there the last time over 20 years ago. The city has grown from 2 million to 4 million habitants, becoming the second largest city in Colombia. The street scene has changed: the big American cars are now virtually absent, replaced by small Asian cars and here and there a few American small cars. A metro is about to be operational. In a month it will run on dedicated lanes from one end to the other. Also, a lot of recreational activities are taking place; Primarily biking and running.
After a delicious lunch (we had trout…delightfull) in an outstanding restaurant, Humberto showed us his beautiful Finka (Ranch) where he has now cows and horses. Then we visited Candelaria, the village and house in which Rocio grew up.
Topping off a great day we had a barbecue at the home of Humberto with his wife Doris and their two daughters Viviana and Adriana. Unfortunately we missed their son Humberto Jr.
The next day we went together on a day trip to Salento, a small town about a four hour drive north of Cali. Salento, altitude in the 6000 feet range, is surrounded by deep green mountains. It is known for the “Palma de cera”, one of the highest species of palm trees in the world, and a national tree of Colombia. We went to the best place to see these palm covered hills: In the valley Cocora, about 6 miles from Salento.
A very big thank you goes to Rocio’s family for taking us in and for a great time.

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