Coffee And Banana Land

Being in such green country, it was no surprise that our first hour was riding in rain. The road dried out just in time to ride some switchbacks. I joined Ernst and Reinhard for coffee, then lunch. A delicious ¼ chicken dinner complete with salad, rice, beans, potato wedges and a beer cost a whole $4.00.
The pungent smell of Uka drying on black plastic prompted us to stop and check it out. I don’t know if the name is correct, but the smell was memorable. The substance is used to make bread. Within 6 inches of the drying food were horse or donkey droppings on the road. I had no desire to buy a bag to take home.
After a couple of days seeing banana trees with no fruit, I finally saw the real thing! These twisty, hilly roads through the banana and coffee plantations have their risks. Again today I came upon a truck accident.

I finally got a picture of 3 adults riding 1 bike. That brought back wonderful memories of when Marilyn and I were on the back of June’s bike riding through a drive through beer store in Illinois. We sure were a lot younger then.
Our “home” for the night was a lovely former monastery. Terry, Werner, Peter, and I enjoyed a beer on the veranda prior to checking in. Police and military forces were all around the property, even watching me swim. The Colombian President would be staying at the monastery hotel that night so security was tight. San Francisco church is attached to the monastery. Unlike the monastery, it still is an active place of worship.

Popayan is known as the “White City.” This is for one good reason – all the buildings around the city square are painted white. Remember “Juan Valdez” advertising coffee a couple decades ago? Well, now he owns a cafe on the square. Apparently, coffee is still sold with his name on the label.

4-Mar Pasto to Popayan Col 160 miles

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