Colombia is a beautiful country and almost without exception, folks are welcoming and generous. We have had 2 AirBnB hosts provide taxi rides for us (less than $2 USD each but still that is not insignificant in their economy). Almost everyone seems to go out of their way to make sure that tourists have a pleasant experience.
Here are some other random thoughts, again in no particular order.
- We were walking home one evening from dinner and it was a little windy and raining off and on. I saw/heard a big sheet of plastic rustling and thought it was the wind. Sadly, it was a person getting more comfortable in their “home” for the evening. We never saw this again although we do see an occasional person asleep on the sidewalk and we are asked for money several times a week…twice in a restaurant.
- The Andes mountains are very different from the Rockies. They are higher and valleys are deeper and they are much greener. Most roads we have traveled on are similar to those in Colorado, very windy, paved, sometimes with guardrails, sometimes not.
- Traffic information seems to be more of a suggestion than an enforced law. Motorcycles are driven anywhere, in a lane, between lanes, on sidewalks occasionally for short distances.
- Drivers sometimes drive in lanes and sometimes straddle them.
- Bus drivers (and others) are as apt to pass in a no passing area as anywhere else.
- Stop signs are not always obeyed.
- Drivers seem to be used to seeing someone coming towards them in their lane. I’m amazed how much the taxi drivers do this to get around a slow or parked vehicle. So far, because of generally low speeds this has been fine although one time the oncoming car stopped while our taxi finished passing someone.
- Twice we have had bus drivers who were smoking while driving. No one else has smoked on the buses. We are generally far enough back that it isn’t a huge issue although we don’t like it.
- Toilet seats are a luxury, especially in public restrooms. I don’t know why they are not used more. Squatting isn’t fun and even if you put paper down to “protect” yourself, it makes the seat about an inch or so lower which is awkward.
- While we often heard pleasant Latin music in Colombia, we would just as often hear American/English music. Oldies or Country Western.