Cali was a city in Colombia we didn’t really plan on visiting; it was more of a stopover between Salento and Popayan than a planned destination. Famous for its salsa, we thought a weekend there was in order, and the nightlife certainly didn’t disappoint.
Like every place in Colombia, however, the city itself had so much to offer in the light of day, too. With only one full day to wander, we walked through the city’s congested streets, photographing all of its colours, running through pigeons, sampling sour mango, perusing stalls of books, drinking coffee, making new friends. The city is known for being one of the most dangerous in the country; it was and still is a centre for one of the largest drug cartels on the continent, if not in the world. And while it is dusty and gritty, I felt nothing but safe, and received nothing but smiles. It felt like nothing bad could happen to us in a city with such sunshine and such music, and I basked in all that day’s naivety and joy.
I like reflecting on my past travels, and of all the places I’ve discovered because of little more than a recommendation, a necessary stopover, or a quick glance at a map. Last year, I didn’t even know the city of Cali existed; now, I know it to be bursting at the seams with energy, with sex and salsa and heat.