What comes to your mind when you think of South America? Jungles, the Yanomamo tribes that live they way humans did 10,000 years ago? Take a look!
As I said the other day, this is a short trip and I wish I could stay but best left for another trip. Surprisingly, the fare from Mexico City to Bogota is less than $400 round trip. Prices are right on food and entertainment. The museums here in Cali are free or less than a dollar.
Cali is the third largest city with Medellin second and Bogota first with over 8 million people. Cali is a sugar cane production area in the state of Cauca (here states are referred to as departamentos). The people are very friendly and you can walk up to just about anyone and ask for information. Security guards in the malls attached to the hotel are a wealth of knowledge.
I didn't post yesterday because the internet wasn't working from the suites in the hotel. I didn't feel like sitting in the lobby to post. My coworker took me on a quick tour of Cali. I've posted some pics on Facebook so some of you may have seen them already.
There were two important stops for me. One was the Gold Deposit Museum. It is the smallest of the three cities with Bogota having the largest. Colombia is one of the largest gold production or mining operations in the Americas. However, it has its downsides as well. Most of the extraction is done illegally and the second is that it is slowly destroying the rainforests. I'm sure you've seen NG where the miners are using water in high pressure hoses to remove dirt and silt to get to the gold which of course has a devastating effect on the landscape, flora and fauna.
In the museum are pieces dating back to 1500 BC.
In these pieces, magnifying glasses are used to see the detail. These are miniature pieces are less than half the size of a thimble. Incredible. I'm sure you've seen the small gold airplane that was discoverd said to be over 2000 years old found in an ancient tomb.
We then headed out to the La Merced museum. A small but interesting display of ancient Colombian art.
Fascinating detail work. It makes you wonder how they really lived so long ago. I believe it's pretty much like today. You can see that in the tools they used, the pyramids in Mexico, and the paintings they left behind. I can sit here and read about each piece and never get bored.
Some people think the paint roller with the etched designs is the latest gadget. Now we know the source of these dating back to 500 AD.
Anyway, I have to go. I'm having a quick breakfast here at the hotel and then off to downtown Bogota. Yesterday was great and I'll tell you all abou it. The conference was a success and the teachers learned a lot.