She was a little surprised when we asked for arepas instead of toast...most people want the tourist breakfast. And she was so apologetic that she didn't have any and promised to have some for this morning's breakfast.
So we had eggs and cheese and coffee and hot chocolate. Then, we went over a local map with Martha and she showed us some of the things we should see in the area...if the weather cooperated.
Ruth, having coffee in the common area.
Hostel owner Martha, showing us the map.
She explained the areas we shouldn't go to, including the main market. She said if you want to go there, leave all of your belongings at the hostel and don't take more than 20,000 pesos ($9.20 CAD) in cash. Apparently it's a bit of a sketchy area and there are a lot of beggars.
Okay. I think we'll just avoid the market!
Again, we're here at the end of rainy season, so you can pretty much expect that it will rain at some point during the day. We don't have an umbrella (although we may buy one) but we do have a couple of cheap rain ponchos.
The view out of our bedroom window. It is not yet raining!
One of the downtown streets. You can see the steeple of the cathedral in the distance.
Looking towards another church.
See the guy bottom right with the orange hat talking on his cell phone? He made me nervous. We were on a bridge, going in a direction frequented by tourists, and I had the good camera out. As soon as he saw this, he hurriedly got on his cell phone and was staring right at me the whole time. Maybe me being paranoid, but after we were mugged a couple of years ago in Zacatecas, I am very aware of these types of things. I continue to think that he was calling his buddies to tell them of a couple of easy targets.
It started to drizzle with rain.
A neat statue.
The road we were on continued up to some nice viewpoints, and because of the drizzle there weren't that many people around.
Ruth, enjoying the view. No blue sky though!
It started raining harder, and we saw a church down one of the side streets. Hoping that it was open, we headed that way just to get out of the rain. Sure enough, it was open. There were a few people in there and it looked like a service was about to start. It did, so we stood in the entranceway looking out onto the street. But at least we were sheltered from the rain.
A few people came and went, and after 10 minutes or so a couple of guys approached us. One was a little unsavoury looking, and the other one spoke to us and asked (in Spanish) where we're from. I said Canada. Then, he went in the church, and the sketchy looking one stayed outside. A minute later the guy from inside the church came out and went left. The other guy went right, and positioned himself under a tree a few meters away.
So we're thinking this is not right. Again, possibly paranoia, but we think they were waiting for us to leave the church.
So we did. But not by walking! There was a taxi office across the street and a taxi pulled up and a driver got out and went in the building. As soon as he came out, we flagged him down and got out of the situation.
Better to be safe than sorry, and we feel good about the decision.
We got the taxi driver to take us right downtown to the main cathedral. Cost was 3,700 pesos ($1.75 CAD). It was raining even harder when we got there, so we went right inside. There was a service going on, so we took seats.
After the service, I took some photos.
It is a cavernous concrete structure...but quite impressive!
The stained glass was very colorful.
We waited out the rain for another 15 minutes or so and then ventured outside.
Cathedral in Manizales, Colombia.
One of the main streets leading off the central plaza.
At this point, we decided to walk and look for somewhere to have some lunch. We walked along the street in the photo above, and eventually came to a shopping mall overlooking the plaza in the next photo.
Pretty church with lots of wood. Too bad it was closed.
Looking back at where we came from.
We found a little fast food type of place.
This is an areburguer. A hamburger patty on a corn arepa with all the fixings We ordered one of these, and a chorizo sausage on a stick with chips, and then shared them. Lunch was 8,700 pesos ($4.00 CAD) for the two of us.
Then we went back outside. The rain had now totally stopped.
We went to a big Exito grocery store and bought some stuff to make dinner in the hostel. Just some salad and chick breast fillets. Chicken is cheap! There was enough for four meals, and the boneless, skinless fillets cost 7,500 pesos ($3.50 CAD).
Watched a movie on the laptop in the evening.
We had better get used to the rain...it's supposed to rain for the next five days!
The Jackery portable travel battery charger for your smart phone or camera deal is back! Today only...if you haven't got one of these yet, today is the day!
And in Canada, the Braun wet-dry shaver is on sale. Really good reviews. If you can get it to ship to the U.S., it's a great deal for Americans taking advantage of the exchange rate...