South America Plus travel blog

After talking w/ Taieb & Audrey, nice French couple, owners of Posada in San Agustin, they confirmed many of our own impressions of Colombia so I feel more confident in the following:

1) Just about 100% of people we encounter in hostels, restaurants, stores, street vendors,etc greet everyone with 'A su orden' roughly translated, 'At your service' or 'How can I help you?'. This reflects pretty much the universal attitude of friendliness, helpfulness, and just plane hospitable nature of Colombians. No other country (thus far on this journey) comes close to this in attitude.

2) They speak the best, clearest, most understandable Spanish in all of the Americas (not only in our opinion but other travelers we've met - heading N from Chile & Argentina - and even from others native in Latin America.

3) Country is first we've encountered where bargaining for bus travel is acceptable...and necessary, since transport is really what makes travel in Colombia most expensive.

4) Gorgeous mountains, green even tho much is deforested.

5) They love their landscaping by all appearances. Many nurseries, especially in mountain areas growing all kinds of flowers, etc. Even the most poor housing (small, mud & bamboo slat 15x15 w/ tin roof) has some plants, often in pots, out front.

6) Big on bicycling and bicycle racing. We see very often guys in typical racing jerseys, in draft lines, peddling along the roads. The vehicles give them a wide birth vs in other countries we've been cyclists get the blast of a horn, especially in of the most dangerous cycling countries in the world I think!

7) They love their music and food, and seem to just enjoy life more than we've witnessed in countries prior to here...talking just the Americas now. This does not mean they are more well off $$$ wise, the poor are still very poor with rich a small percentage. After all they are only a few years from major country-wide almost civil war, which by the by is still festering below the surface I think, but there is an optimistic attitude about the future.

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