Plan was fulfilled, managed to get to the bus station. Caught an overnight bus to Medellin. Arriving in the former Murder Capital of THE WORLD!!! on 17 Dec. But, the north americans didn’t like Pablo Escobar so much, so ended up killing him, and the Medellin Cartel broke up. It is now very nice, and safe. But the ‘Media’ always forgets to report the good news. Got to Medellin, and caught a taxi to the Black Sheep hostel. First time I heard of it, I guessed it was owned by a kiwi. But I’d heard of Casa Kiwi first. Then… heard that Casa Kiwi was owned and run by a naughty americano. (Joke for those who intiendo espanol.) So, I go to Black Sheep. The english guy I met the first night at San Agustin is there, and apparently good friends with the kiwi manager. Respect for kiwi manager drops. He’s friends with the inglis, for jeebers’ sake. But, I guess if there’s one thing this trip has taught me, is that there’s nice NeoZelandese, Norte Americanos, Inglis, and even Arsetralians. Anyway… got to the hostel, after the taxi driver got rather lost. Waited for a room to become available, and spent the time going to the supermarket to buy a bottle of Aotearoa sauvignon blanc, some colombian blue cheese, colombian duck pate, and a french loaf. Also, a sandwich for lunch. The expensive stuff is for dinner. The wine was bloody 20 seppo dollares.
Back to hostel, and drunk beer while waiting for my bed to become available. A little early in the day, perhaps, but I had to teach the kiwi chap what it means to be from Aotearoa. Eventually got a bed, then headed into the central city. Walked around for a while, checking out some chap’s sculptures. Famous Colombian artist – specialty is satirical fatties. Big sculptures of fat people, fat cats, fat dogs, etc. Then, started towards some modern new-age blah-blah park. Designed for people to walk around barefeet, over shallow ponds, sand pools, etc. Stopped for a beer at a very dodgy bar. Drunk guy tried to talk to me. My espanol is reasonable by now, but I couldn’t understand a word he said. Ended up telling him I didn’t understand, again and again. Got annoyed, and left. Got halfway to the park, couldn’t be bothered crossing the road – and turned around to get back on the subway to the hostel. My enthusiasm for being a tourist really is completely gone.
So – back to the hostel, and decided I’ve completely had enough of travelling. Make the plan to get back to Quito immediately. To my new Finn McCool’s family. So, evening is spent impatiently waiting for the next day, so I can leave. Drinking cerveza, and eventually drinking my Sav Blanc, while eating cheese and pate – and watching Bruce Willis fighting the good fight against those dastardly terrorists.
So, mix of beer and wine caused a small hangover when I awake for 18 Dec. Drink some cervezas, and book a flight to ingerlund. 27th of December I leave South America, and 28th December, I arrive in the Queen’s island. More cerveza, finish my cheese and pate, and then off to the bus station. Leaving the kiwi hostel owner still pondering the distribution of my bill. Again – the cerveza was more than the accommodation. This time – internet also, as I’d spent quite some time uploading photos. Bus station, and get on a bus. That’s what bus stations are for.
18 hours or so later, it’s the 19 Dec, and I’m at Ipiales for the fourth time. Colectivo to the border, and met the Alejandro at the border. Alejandro is a crazy colombian guy I met in Quito – in the same dorm room. Get over the border without being searched by the corrupt policemen. Didn’t have any forgotten bags of coca leaves this time anyway. I think. Another colectivo to Tulcan. And discover the restaurant at the bus station is being renovated. I’d been pinning my hopes on today’s meal being there. No such luck. Have an empanada & coffee instead, and get onto another bus. Back to Quito.
So, a little over 30 hours after leaving Medellin, I get to Quito. Taxi to the hostel. Just in time for the free ron&coke night. I avoid it. Get myself a private room, with bathroom this time. Novelty. Get into my suit, and off to Finn McCool’s. With four bottles of booze I bought at the duty-free store on the border. I pretty much bought everything which said “Irish”, and a bottle of champagne. The irish stuff as gifts for the bar, and champagne for jeebersmas. Must remember to buy some icecream. Get to Finn’s, and I can’t see Lee or Ursula, and there’s some new ginga girl behind the bar. I’m apprehensive. Then, I see Paula – the ‘glassie’. Squeals and hugs. Then she runs over to the pool table, to tell Lee & Ursula. They were here, just hiding. More squeals and hugs. Then, the regulars. Squeals and hugs. And so on for the next hour or so, as more of the old regulars arrive. It’s nice to be home.
And even the new ginga bargirl turns out to be quite nice. Very nice in fact – I think I’m in love with her. Platonically of course. Scottish girl, and worthy of Finn’s. Anyway – the night goes on. And on. 7 or 8 of us for the shut-in. Playing pool for money. Hanging up a hammock. Slightly too many people for the hammock, and suddenly a big chunk of the concrete pillar comes out. The bit that contained the hook for the hammock. So, hammock and people on ground. Some time later, Lee falls over. Knocks his head. Decides not to get up. Sleeps underneath the foosball table for a few hours. The rest of us chat. Eventually, it’s myself, scottish Helen, and Ross left – until it’s time for opening again.
And thus 20 Dec begins. And how it begins, it continues. Lee & Ursula take the day off – good on them. Spent most of the night trying to convince Ursula that they should both take a week off. Anyway, I don’t take the day off. Kiwis aren’t slackers. Full day of drinking cerveza, playing pool, and a bit of bartending. Gets to closing time again. It’s Alison’s last night before heading back to seppo-land for 10 days. And Rafael’s birthday. Alison is barstaff, and Rafael is a foosball player. So, again a few of us for the shut-in. Alison leaves for the airport at 5am. Arguments and silly deeds and silly words from/between Ross and Merav. Ross – irish barman. Or bar-boy, as I like to call him when I’m trying to annoy him. Merav – israeli part-owner of the bar. Alison had given me the keys to lock up, which I eventually do. But Ross decides he’s taking the keys. Despite Ali asking me to take care of them, Ross’s current mood insists that I acquiesce, to prevent further problems. And so, after 30 hours of travel, and 33 hours of Finn McCools, I return to the hostel for bed.
Next update – I’m guessing, but pretty sure I’ll just copy-and-paste the stuff I wrote last time I was in Quito.