So for Ron’s birthday, we headed back to Colombia, South America again.  This time we visited some new cities.  First on our list was Santiago de Cali, better known as just “Cali”, located in Valle de Cauca.  The July weather in Cali was spring-like, with a slight chill in the morning, but no sleeves required by afternoon. Cali is known as the salsa capital.  Of the world?  I’m not sure, but definitely of South America (I’ve been to Cuba).  The salsa dancing found in Cali is caleña style, which at times can be quite fast and acrobatic.  While we took a week of lessons, I promised not to post any of those videos.

Other than salsa dancing, Cali has a rich culture of African  and Indigenous descent.  It is found in food, music and the people.  Street art was popular in Cali as well as the fascination with cats.  In fact, there is an entire park dedicated to cats, Parque El Gato.   There is a Parque de Perro, but we didn’t get to see that one.  The street foods of choice are batida de caña (sugar cane juice to which they add lime juice) and chontaduros.  The chontaduros are like sweet potatoes without the “sweet”.  They are the fruit of palm trees to which the caleños add salt and honey…I guess to make them taste like sweet potatoes.  The farmer’s market was just a smorgasbord of fresh fruits and spices, and household goods.  I wish we had stopped there first before going to the grocery store.

During our visit, we took a day trip to San Cipriano