Today was a trip we had planned nearly 3 years ago when I travelled with Magnolia and our lawyer to the town where Andres was born – Santander de Quilichao. We needed to get a new birth certificate for Andres showing our names as the parents, and we could only do that at the registrations office in that town – especially given the town is actually in the next state.
Leanne and Andres were not able to come with last time and Andres was keen to see the town where he was born, so we made it a point to plan a visit there at some point on the trip. The fact that it is a beautiful little town and worth visiting anyway is just an added bonus.
Before we left Cali, we stopped at a street with a lot of small musical instrument shops where we looked for something to bring home for Andres and Nicol. Settled on two drums, a cowbell and a guiro – all in Colombian flag colours. These are not just toys – quite good quality instruments!
We then headed out of the city and drove about an hour south to the department (state) of Cauca where the town of Santander de Quilichao is. I didn’t actually realise that Santander de Quilichao is the second largest city in Cauca after the capital of the region, Popayán. Magnolia thinks the population of the town is perhaps 50,000 people.
We drove around the town, admiring the old row-cottages with narrow streets which make up most of the downtown area, the beautiful park that runs along a creek in the town, the bustling marketplace and busy main street, the popular and shady town square, and the colourful Chiva buses. We also drove past the hospital where Andres was born and I was able to get some better photos of it this time.
We went looking for a restaurant to eat at, and ended giving up on finding something suitable in the town – the locals we asked couldn’t even make a suggestion, and the young officer at a military checkpoint we asked was actually from Cali himself, so didn’t know either. We ended up driving south towards Popayán for a while, up through the foothills of the mountains – stunning scenery, before eventually coming across a truck-stop service station which had a nice clean restaurant.
After lunch we headed back through the town for one last look around before driving back to Cali.
This time, we drove a different route home, taking a more circuitous route to the east of the city, rather than coming in directly from the south. It was interesting seeing many of the smaller villages along the way, plus the various crops and farming land through the valley.
Back in Cali itself, we stopped near the main football stadium to buy some team jerseys for the kids – we got some Deportivo Cali and some National team colours. There is a second team, “America” here too – but I like the green Deportivo colours better.
After a long day, we got back to find power out again and were dreading another night without power. Fortunately, the power came back on just as we were heading back to our room after another candle-lit dinner.
We slept well that night – exhausted after our trip.