November 3-4, 2007
I got a bus early today to Popayan. It was a beautiful ride with volcanoes covered with green constantly dotting the landscape, but the road was slow-going with nonstop twists and turns, and I wasn't able to enjoy the journey very much because my brain had atrophied from being on so many buses.
At my hostel were a two guys from Britain and Ireland who were riding their motorcycles all over the Americas. They had to get all the way to Ushuaia in about two months, which seemed like an impossibly long distance to me (right now I'm closer to Milwaukee than Ushuaia). They were quite surprised to learn that I was only Bolivia six months ago, whereas they were all the way up in northern Alaska. Still, I think traveling on a motorcycle is totally different than traveling on buses. The old cliché of "It's the journey, not the destination" is much more valid when you're in control of your own vehicle.
I had heard many people say how great Popayan was, but it didn't do much for me. All the buildings in the center had been whitewashed, giving it the nickname The White City, but that alone doesn't make a place great. The bikers and I were pretty bored as we walked around on a Saturday night but only found a couple of bars that were empty but still felt the need to blast their music at deafening levels. And supposedly this was a university town.