If you could called what I had when I arrived in Colombia a "plan," you could now consider it completely thrown to the wind. I've just been going off of sugestions (even more so than ususal) and traveling fairly easily with grat people I've met along the way. Anyway, that's how I ended up in stunning Popayán. The city is know for it's whitewashed facades, but I've found more color here than in a number of other cities combined.
The market was like a dream come true (I've joked with people that I wouldn't mind going back to school to study Anthropology, specifically markets). There were fruits I had never heard of before, guanabanas much larger than the size of my head, over a dozen varieties of potato including knobby finger sized neon-purple ones, the most delicious blackberries, strawberries, and sweetplumbs of my life, bags of layered diced veggies, and pyramid stacks of tomato. The woman with the enormous guanabana was more than happy to tell us the story about when they had brought her a 22-pounder, the lady preparing potato and cabbage salads wanted to know about where we're from, the butchers were posing for photos without us even asking, and my favorite, amazigly sweet blackberry lady got two visits from me.
As if that morning wasn't wonderful enough, we happened to arrive in town just in time for the Feria de Cometas, the kite festival. It was on a hill just ouside of town and every time the wind picked up dozens of kites went up from the tops of the hills. Between gusts, most of the kids entertained themselves by sliding down the hills on sheets of cardboard. We finally walked back to town after most of the rain had passed, and ended up being accompanied most of the way by a group of school-age boys. They were genuinely curious about us, wanted to hear us speak english, take pictures and show them, and whatnot. It suprised me how well-behaved and sweet they were, not to mention the fact that they weren't embarrased to talk with us at all (which has generally happened when I talk to local kids), and approached us in the first place.
Soon you'll all hear about my attempt at climbing a 15er during Colombian winter...