March 14, 2010

Cajamarca

Cajamarca  is a small town on a truck route between Ibague and Sevilla.  The route goes over a mountain or several mountains, it is hard to tell. Cajamarque is situated in a cleft between two mountains, some of it's houses are about 100 feet above the street.  There are many farms on the near vertical hills.  They grow comida (food) such as frijoles (beans) and papas (potatoes).  (Make sure to click on the following picture to make it full size, it is amazing)


Cajamarca is the kind of place where people work hard at jobs people can understand. Churches outnumber bars by about two to one.  It is Saturday night, and the entire town is hanging out in the central square.  As is typical for small towns, the local youth have to find creative ways to stave of the boredom of living in a place that lacks big city amusements.  One of the things the boys do for excitement is to have the trucks that roar through town nose to tail, tow them up the hill on their bicycles.  I am sure that anyone who ever lived in say, Brighton ON, could relate.

So far Colombia is turning out to be pretty normal, and way more advanced than most of the countries I have visited so far.  The infrastructure (roads, water, electricity, basura collection etc.)  are as good as any, better than most.  Based on the (mis)information that is repeated about Colombia, I was  not sure what to expect.  Obviously there were problems here once, but it seems they are now in the past.  The military police are everywhere, they are well equipped and look very professional.  They are not a threatening presence, they are just there.  People do seem to be more careful though, but nobody is waving guns around like the rent-a-cops in Centro America.

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