Lough Leane as seen from Killarney National Park, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Killarney National Park, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Travel day! Buga to Popayan, Colombia.

Yesterday was a travel day, and while some travel days go smoother than others...this was one of the worst. Not terrible, really...just not one of the better travel days we've had.

At least we woke up to some sunshine and blue sky.

The bus terminal in Buga was located just over 1 km from our downtown hostel, so we decided to walk it.

I know...most normal people would have paid the 3,000 pesos ($1.37 CAD) or so to take a taxi, but apparently we're not normal. Besides, our rolling backpacks are easy to drag along despite the uneven sidewalks, and before we knew it we were there.

We weren't surprised to find out that we were going to have to go from Buga to Cali first, in order to get the bus to Popayan.

Buses seem to leave every ten minutes or so, and sure enough we were soon seated. Cost from Buga to the Cali bus terminal was 7,000 pesos ($3.18 CAD) each.

Buga to Popayan is 197 kms (122 miles) so you'd figure maybe 4 hours if you include the fact that we have to switch buses in Cali.

Well if you guessed 4 hours, (as I did), you'd be wrong.

We left Buga at around 10:35am and pulled in to the Popayan terminal at about 4:45pm.

Just over 6 hours.

The trip to Cali was fine. Got into the Cali terminal and went searching for a bus line advertising Popayan. The first one I asked at said it would be 15,000 pesos each ($6.83 CAD) each, but they had a direct bus that was actually a nine person minivan that was 20,000 pesos ($9.10 CAD each). So I figured for the extra couple of dollars that we would take the direct bus. They gave us our tickets and led us to the van. Got our bags in the back, and we were the only ones there so we grabbed the back seat.

And then we waited. And waited.

Eventually, we got out just to stretch our legs. Finally, another passenger was brought out. We figured we would soon be going. Wrong again.

A couple more passengers arrived, and after waiting for an hour and twenty minutes, we finally got going.

My mistake for not asking when we'd be leaving in the first place. So far, our experience has been that once you're on the bus, you get going quite quickly.

Then, it took us an hour just to get out of Cali! From what we saw of the city, we're glad we didn't spend any time there.

And our driver was a moron. I don't usually have a problem with aggressive drivers who are smart, but this guy was an aggressive driver who had no consistency at all. There were several times I saw him upset other drivers with his dangerous moves. Now, you have to understand that drivers here are aggressive to begin with and sometimes it's better just to close your eyes...but this guy was not enjoyable to drive with.

Yesterday's bus ride.

By the time we arrived our legs were all cramped up and we had certainly had enough. No more minivan drives for us...we'll stick to normal buses in the future.

We're staying at the Hotel Alcala in Popayan. Five minute walk from downtown. One of the cheaper places, at only 35,000 pesos ($15.93 CAD) per night. But it seems clean and it was quiet last night. It'll be fine!

Went for dinner at a chicken place... 21,000 pesos ($9.56 CAD) for the two of us...drinks and tip included.

Then a quick walk around downtown.

It started raining, and we just made it back to the hotel when it poured buckets!

Not sure what's on the agenda today. I expect we'll just explore the town.

Great deal on a small electric snow blower...

And in Canada, a great "deal of the day" on a 1 TB external storage drive. If you've been wanting one, today is the day to buy...


  1. Sounds like a not fun bus ride, hope your next journey is better.

    1. It wasn't the best but it could have been worse. Our next one sounds like five hours on a dirt road, we will see!

  2. From what country are most of the tourists you have met?

    1. We have met some from the States, some from Europe and some from other countries in South America.

  3. Oh brother. Murphy hit you two hard. Glad you are finally settled. Enjoy

    1. I wouldn't say Murphy hit us hard it just wasn't as smooth of a travel day as we would have hoped for. It was nice to have arrived before dark so we were happy about that.

  4. Your learning curves continue to offer up new experiences - some you could do without by the sounds of things. Congratulations on your informative and entertaining blog...it's an interesting trip you are taking us on for sure. ...

    1. We realize that not every day is going to go as smoothly as we plan but as long as we get to our destination in the daylight and in one piece we are happy! ;-)

      That's the thing with traveling, you just never know what to expect so we always try to travel with and open mind and try to have lots of patience.

  5. Some days are like that...it's makes the good days all that much better!

  6. Looks like you had a good day to me, just a bit different. Adventurous is a good way to describe it! How about a pic of your hotel room?

    1. Yes, it was a good day in general but I guess with the driving and the waiting is just made it a long day.

      We meant to get a picture of the hotel room but we forgot an now it is messy. It is very basic, 1 double bed and 1 single bed, a TV and a small cupboard and night table. It also includes a VERY small bathroom.

  7. I know how you just hate to waste the day waiting and waiting.

    1. Yep, there always so many other things to do! ;-)


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