Family life in a little town

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Sunday, March 2, 2008

The ride to Giron took quite a while, about 13 hours. The scenery during the day was unimpressive with dry shrubs and relatively small mountains. The heat on the window made me sweat excessively for a large part of the trip. We did get a good price through as we bypassed the ticket office and paid the driver directly, a cheaper fair for us and more money for him. The scenery got a tad better as we rose higher up through some mountains, but was too dark to appreciate anything.

Upon the taxi driver dropping us off at a "borato" hotel (cheap), as he told us, we were soon to find out it was 60,000 pesos! HAHA! Dont think so! We slunked our packs on our shoulders, and walked in a direction where there supposidly was a cheaper hotel. We couldnt find it, so asked this guy on a corner at this little bottle shop where we could find one. Before we knew it, he had baught us both a beer, and the rest of them consisting of Fernandez, His cousin from Bogota Jaquie, Larry (another cousin) and the bottle shop owner, were all out in the street drinking with us. Only Jaquie spoke just a tad of English, so we conversed very successfully in Espanol that night! They were fantastic people, so very friendly. They told us that this is the very first time any of them has ever spoken to someone with white skin. The bottle shop owner invited us to keep drinking with them, so we dropped our backpacks in the cheap hotel they showed us too. The only room left had one double bed left, that Matty and I had to share! (...the things you do to save a bit of $$)! We met them back at the little shop where we attempted to buy them a beer back, however they refused and kept telling us that they invited us to drink, so we are not allowed to pay. A couple of others rocked up on moto's, this extremely funny gay couple. One of them owned a very small local casino down the road that they invited us too after the guy closed up his shop. The small casino was only the size of my lounge room back at home, with about a total of 15 ancient poker machines! It was a classic! It was 12.30am so he opened up especially for us. There he gave all 6 or 7 of us one beer after another and wouldnt let us pay a cent. The night was fantastic and Fernandez got extremely drunk and passed out in the back room on the concrete floor. The toilet was hillarious here. Its next to one of the poker machines, it is only 1x2ft tiled hole with a peice of cloth infront of it where you just stand over. haha! The night kicked on till about 4am before we all retired to bed. I hadn't yet paid a cent for a beer!

11am came all too quick and we were up, showered to meet them all at a restaurant Larry's family owned. There for lunch they fed us traditional Colombian stle food of sweet potato, rice, fried banana, marinated chicken and this delicious ball with melted cheese and sweet red fruit that grows locally. We also got a deliscious vegetable soup for an entre, and lots of soft drink! Once more, because he invited us, they refused to let us pay! Such genorocity from suh beautifully kind people. It didnt just stop there. They then gave up their day to show us around the town (Larry and Jaquie did). The town has picture perfect white washed buildings, with brown rooftops, windows and doors. The roads are entirely made up of huge round cobble stones with not one bit of rubbish in site. It was truley stunning and far exceeded my expectations. The big church, built 380 years ago was closed, however Larry was a politician and knew someone with a key to allow us in especially. Inside it was quite big, with decorations lining the altar. Its crazy to think this place was built before Australia was even discovered by the British! They then showed us a few other historic places that were once the backbone of Giron's construction and formation. We soon met up with a hungover Fernandez at his work (looking after a carpark). We relaxed for a while before heading to the local primary school, where they do volunteer work in the little canteen area for the kids. As I walked around inside, the princible and teachers greeted me with much welcoming and offered me refreshments and too wonder around. The little kids in school ranging from 6 to 12 years old, stopped what they were doing and staired at me with much curiosity and then immediately giggle to their friends. This would of been their first sight of a westener for most of them. The experience was quite extrodinary actually. Fernandez then took us to his house, where we met his sister, mother, father and grandma that had dimensia and kept saying over and over that we were no different to a book if we dont believe in souls or a god, then continued to crack up laughin histerically to her self! It was absolutely hilarious! The sister spoke quite good english, so I had a good chance to learn a bit from her about the Colombian way of life.

Fernandez and Jaquie then bought us all more drinks before taking us to this Arepa place that had unbelievably deliscious Carne Arapes!! (Arape's is a traditional meal, made up of corn bread, and filled with cheese, and other sorted carne's). It filled me up quite alot, for only 4000p! I paid for their meal that night, along with Ice cream after, as there was only so much generocity from them I could take before my guilt started taking over!

As it was our last night in Giron, they all got together to wish us fairwell at a local pub, where we had many laughs till 2am. It also rained that night for the first time in our entire trip! It was very hard saying goodbye to them all at the end of the night, but had definitely given us an amazing cultural experience!

Such genorocity from people that barely knew us, in such a picture perfect little town! I love this place!!!
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