We found another coffee paradise, thanks to the perfectly located Juan Valdez – just like Starbucks, but with drinkable coffee and outdoor ambiance. This one even had WiFi. Heaven for the nerds. The basic story of Juan Valdez was to create a brand that Americans could pronounce, in order to promote the Colombian coffee industry. It was a spectacular success.


Popoyan is a beautiful colonial town, and we hoped to enjoy some serenity after the intensity of big city life in Cali. Incredibly, though, the place has some serious bustle. It’s a university town and people wander around with a sense of purpose – we were overtaken by pedestrians for the first time since New York!


We also enjoyed some high altitude hot springs, complete with a 52 meter water slide than had me slinging down the hill at speeds previously unimaginable, albeit on concrete of questionable smoothness. The smell of the sulphurous water stayed with us for quite some time after:


Unfortunately the hostel, despite being very well equipped & run – our room complete with separate living area & couch – was dominated by traffic noise 24 hours a day. So we departed fairly quickly.

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