Salsa fever in Cali

It’s been on a Monday when I arrived in Cali. I already heard from my friend that Mondays are the best nights out together with the Thursdays. I also heard that Cali is a very popular place to dance salsa and that many travellers get stuck in Colombia’s third biggest city… But I never thought that the virus catches me that much (but I always said that I don’t know how long I’m going to stay;-)).

So we went to Las Brisas an outdoor club a 30 minutes taxi-ride from the hostel. We went on two full-packed cabs and there were more people around who knew each other. What an amazing place have I found? Everybody goes partying together! There were a lot of beers, bottles of rums, dances and lots of fun! Due to a holiday the club was open until dawn. I couldn’t believe it, I came back to the hostel at 4 am – on a Monday!

Tuesday was a quiet evening but Wednesday was Halloween. Can you imagine how the Colombians celebrate Halloween? It is amazing! Everybody dresses up and goes out on the street and not only for Halloween itself, also for the following weekend. The Halloween evening was the birthday of Francy, the dancing teacher, and Ronald, the guy who works at the hostel. We went to a shopping center to celebrate. There were more then 20 of us in the crowds of Colombians dressed-up in halloween costums.

After staying at the food corner, we went to the café/bar area. Suddenly the music changed and LMFAO was live on stage (you have to admit that he looks very original, yes?). I was really tired on that evening but as soon as I say LMFAO’s performance, I was awake and happy. Unfortunately, the music on the video wasn’t the LMFAO song, but to give you an idea of celebrating halloween in Colombia…

I did some group dancing classes which were quite Zumba-like with a lot of latino power (learning from the pro’s) and an amazing workout. Sometimes a did a Yoga class. But I mostly enjoyed my dancing classes with Carlos. He was very patient with me and teached me linear and Cali salsa. Carlos and Francy were Colombian salsa champions in 2008, so I really learnt from professionals, which was really amazing. If you want to see how them dance

After a couple of lessons I got a T-Shirt “I love my salsa teacher”, that was so funny…

A friend of mine did even a performance at the legendary TinTinDeo salsa club

The days went on and on, we went out, Thursdays in Tintindeo, or had Sarah’s goodbye party at the hostel. I wanted to update my blog, to write my friends but the days just passed so quickly. I went out almost every evening until dawn, slept until midday, ate something, had up to four hours dancing classes a day (group classes and private lessons), chatted with my Cali friends, checked my Facebook, bought some shoes or a nice dress and it was already evening – time to prepare, to dress up, to have some beers, wine or rum and to go out to practise more salsa. I didn’t see much of the city except of the clubs, the shopping area, the taxi rides to the clubs and some nice cafés in the neighbourhood of the hostel – but this is absolutely fine. I had such a great time and enjoyed every minute. I love dancing and I loved to do it all the time until my body got tired. I even bought salsa shoes to practise. I was completely catched by the salsa fever.

And it was time to think about where I want to spend my 30th birthday. The decision was made – Cali! But first I went to the Pacific coast to the beach. It was quite a long journey to get there, we had to take a bus, then a boat, a car and finally to walk through the mud for about an hour. In Buenaventura where we arrived by bus and had to get a boat, the ambiance immediately changed, there were only black people around us and the buildings were very basic. The village we stayed at was even more basic. The road was just some sand, the houses just some wooden huts, we were probably the only ones who had a shower (some rainwater outside of the hut) and the only restaurant in town cooked on open fire (the food was amazing).

It was nice to see another very rustic, basic place but I was happy to go back to Cali for my birthday…

 

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