The days of cheap nights and dollar beers are over. For now. I’m staying at a hostel, but it’s not that inexpensive…. 
$40/night vs. The $15/night  in Roldo.. I did have a dinner special for $5 but what I didn’t realize until later is that I was drinking $7 Guinnesses. 

I might get some good sleep..  I can peel off all my clothes and finally sleep in the buff again without wondering if my friends may have stopped by and been a little horrified at some point…(the large windows had only wide spaced bars in front of them, it was too hot to draw the curtain)… the temperature is perfect here as well. It feels like a new spring day.

I go for a couple hours walk around town… What a difference! All around, apartment towers and office buildings surrounded by high,  misty mountains. This city has managed to remain lush and alive unlike the standard concrete jungle feel of most American cities.
I am staying in the disco, restaurant, young, hip side of town. There is everything to do. I wish I had taken some video of the supermercado  in Roldo, with it’s giant severed pig head grinning wickedly amidst  piles of entrails, roughly cut meat, hooves and tongues ensconced  behind  a low half glass in the meat section… it was pretty backwoods. The markets here are clean and modern.. One of them, I’d swear was owned by a Whole Foods grocer!  Wine section, beautifully displayed produce, sharp looking well stocked aisles. 

On the other side of town, there is the Milla De Oro. (mile of gold) This mile was not overstated. It is what you may need… to shop in this very wealthy and sparkling area. The mall is a towering testament to this excess. Five sprawling  floors of marble, glass and glitter. There is no food court. The food is across the street.. It is several city blocks assigned specifically to upscale restaurants and monster movie theater.  Much like every other town here,  all the roofs are terra-cotta… Against the green mountains, they make a beautiful scene.

I bought a much needed raincoat at the North Face. $180. It packs up smaller than my pocket sized phrase book.
I satisfy my coffee curiosity by ordering a cafe tinto at a mall stand…. At last! Coffee. The real stuff. It is black, black, black. and delightfully bitter. I sit on the stone steps outside and savor my delicious treat. 

I made a few phone calls this morning.. I’ve talked a local pilot into picking me up at the hostel and taking me to the ridge. We will have to top land, he tells me…I’m super ok with that. 
I also have a fabulous new Colombian flying friend who has given me a handful of local  numbers that I will call this evening or tomorrow and try to arrange the rest of my week. 

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