The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Travel day! Filandia to Buga, Colombia.

We paid our bill at Bidea Hostel in Filandia. 186,000 pesos ($88.35 CAD) for three nights. A little overpriced compared to some of the other hostels we've stayed at in Colombia. Two things that typically have bothered us about these hostels...the kitchen facilities available to the guests have been substandard in our opinion, and they seem to have a massive shortage of hooks and hangers in Colombia, because none of the hostels that we have stayed at have enough of them!

Seriously, for something so simple...buy some hooks for the walls and put up some shelving in the rooms! And yes, we did mention this to the young owner before we left.

The bus to Armenia stops right outside the front door of the hostel, so that was convenient. It was 4,200 pesos ($2.00 CAD) each for the 31 km (19 mile) bus ride from Filandia to Armenia.

At the Armenia bus terminal, you look along the rows of ticket booths for one advertising the city of Buga. We picked one, and paid 15,300 pesos ($7.25 CAD) each for the 114 km (71 mile) bus ride from Armenia to Buga (pop 98,000). The lady told us the bus would be leaving in 20 or 30 minutes.

We were lucky...our bus was quite new!

Nice seats with lots of leg room!

It was raining on and off, so it was a good day to sit on a bus. 

Not that far, but it still took two hours. The bus we were on was not a direct bus to Buga, it was actually heading for the nearby big city of Cali. So, we had to get off the bus on the highway itself rather than the Buga terminal. That was fine as this is a normal stop for the many buses that go by towards Cali, and there are taxis waiting right there.

I told the driver the intersection we wanted to go to, and he seemed to know where I meant, so off we went. Sure enough, we arrived at the Buga Hostel ten minutes later.

Got checked in and just relaxed for the rest of the day. Nice enough room, and the cheapest we have paid so far at 40,000 pesos ($19.00 CAD) per night. It will be a little noisy because the rooms are actually located in a restaurant/bar! And so that didn't settle down until almost midnight last night, but it was quiet after that and we slept well until 7:00am or so.

Our room has a nice little balcony overlooking the street.

This bird built a nest on a pole across the way.

This coming Friday (only two days away) marks the half way point of our six week Colombia adventure. Hard to believe, isn't it? We feel like we haven't got very far, but our intention was always just to play it by ear and enjoy our time without feeling the need to rush from place to place in order to "see it all".

This has been our route so far.

Now to put it in perspective, Colombia is a fairly large country. It is twice the size of France! So we knew that it would be pretty tough to see everything we wanted to.

We have seen very little of the whole country!

So we're coming to the realization that we're not going to make it up to the north coast and the cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta, nor the Lost City hike. That's okay though because from talking to other travelers, Cartagena is the most expensive city in Colombia, and at this time of year that whole area is very hot and humid. We're happy with the fact that there is a lot to see and do in the area surrounding the city of Bogota, and we'll be able to keep our costs down by not traveling so far.

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22 comments:

  1. Ha! I was hoping that drill would come up again! I was annoyed at myself for not getting it last time (I think it was something the same anyhow). Thanks! J

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    1. Glad that it came up again for you. Kevin said if we were back at the campground right now, he would have been buying one for the campground. We will have to keep our eyes out for another one when we return.

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  2. I think sometimes just staying in a smaller area is nicer - you can spend so much time traveling and not seeing as much as if you stayed put. Plus, you can always go back to Columbia later in life if you wish.

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    1. You are totally right Cheapchick and there is lots to do if you look around for it.

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  3. You can only see so much and looks like you are enjoying everything so far.

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    1. Yep, and we just don't want to feel rushed trying to do it all.

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  4. Wow, the header photo today is something else!!

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    1. Yes, we love this picture it is so green and lush!

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  5. I have a fitbit flex, I love the thing. Peter and I have lost close to 45 pounds between us in six months. The fitbit really keeps you moving.

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    1. I would love to get a Fitbit, maybe next year! Well done on the weight lose. :-)

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  6. Glad you are taking your time and not trying to "see it all". I check the weather for Bogota and nearly every day is showers or rain!

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    1. November is the end of the rainy season so we were expecting this but we were also hoping to see a little more sunshine, oh well at least it is nice and warm and the rain hasn't affected us too much.

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  7. Maybe those extras aren´t common in Colombian hostels. Can´t beat 19 a night.

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    1. No, we just think that it is one of those things that just get overlooked and unless someone mentions it, it just goes on unnoticed.

      Trust us we aren't complaining about the price! :-)

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  8. The bird is living dangerously with that nest in all those wires.

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    1. Yep, we thought the same thing. Hope it's two wings don't hit two separate wires at the same time!

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  9. I love having balconies where you can sit and do some people watching.

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    1. We are loving the balcony too.We watch the traffic go by and wonder how they manage to avoid an accident, it's totally amazing!

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  10. I travel with inflatable hangers (yes, they do exist and can be had on Amazon). Also a 3 ply surgical tube clothesline . Instant closet. :)

    I rode busses that size in Honduras back and forth from Comayagua to Tegu many times. Not a bad way to travel. You are making me homesick for Central America.

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    1. We will have to look these things up. We work real hard at keeping our baggage weight as low as possible and believe it or not, every little item adds up quickly.

      We love traveling in these buses, they are cheap, you get to travel like a local and so far they are pretty reliable.

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  11. You don't have to see it all. My sister once took a trip to see 'all' of Europe in three weeks. She actually saw very little. "On your left, over that hill, is Belgum. We will then leave France and you will then have four hours to enjoy a leisurely lunch in Luxembourg and then we will be in Germany for a late dinner".

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    1. Yep, that kind of trip definitely is not our cup of tea. We can't for the life of us understand how a trip like that could be fun but at least she we went and did some traveling. Hopefully from that trip she learned which places she would like to go back to another time and take more time to see them properly.

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