February 15, 2010

I got a little later start than I would like, but it was worth waiting for the fog to clear off.  The Panamericana was great.


Except for this poor guy…


Up, down, across mountain ranges…

Brunch. I was starving! Thsi was a really good roadside restaurant mean with fried bananas, salad, yucca, rice, and some stew/bean concoction.


I get mucked around a bit in the city of Pasto, but find my way around and back out to the country to a special place that Mrs. Villegas told me about.

I got bungled up in Pasto, but I am getting better and better with asking for (and understanding!) directions…

And soon I got onto the right “country” road leading to Lago de la Cocha. Both Sory and Liliana had told me how gorgeous it was, so I was easer to see it.

The shadows are getting long, I amr eady to be off the bike, and thankfully I finally see my Lake…Lago de Cocha.

Shadows were getting loooooooooooooooong…

I wind up at this hotel on the lake, and I decide to get off the bike and take some pics. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.

A fellow comes out of the hotel and asks if I am looking for a room. I know it is too expensive for my budget, but I decide to play along. Yup, he wants like $90/night. I say that’s too much…he asks what i usually pay, an I tell him the truth: around $20-$30 dollars. He asks me to wait, goes in, calls the boss, and I end up with the room for $30. Its the top end of my budget, but it’s so NICE there. I decide to splurge, without even seeing the room.

The fellow has a lovely daughter, Yeraldin, around 8-10 years old.  She’s really sweet, and once I get the bike snugged inside their portico, she insists on carrying my bag up to the room for me. I change out of motorcycle clothes and decide to go for a walk…when I come downstairs the young girl hands me a not…she’s wrtten me a welcome card on notebook paper, welcoming me to the hotel. Heck, no need to buy anything, this is one  of the most valuable souvinirs of my trip!!

I ask her father if Yeraldin can accompany me for my sunset pics walk, and she’s delightful, if energetic,  company.

She hops, skips and jumps all the way down to the lake, then starts throwing every type of natural matter she can find into the lake…

She follow me around all night. we practice counting in English, she helps me with Spanish vocabulary. At 8 pm she completely runs out of gas and tells me she is going to bed. Phew! I was exhausted by all her energy too!


The next morning she chats with me while I eat breakfast, then she’s off to school.

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