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Rumba is a word used in Colombian Spanish to mean partying, nightlife, drinking, fiesta, etc, etc. If you come to Colombia you will find Rumba and if not Rumba will definitely find you.
We are heading south to Cali so have to come back through Bogota for a night which happens to be Christmas Eve. Nightlife does not start until after 11 PM because people are having Christmas with their family. Around midnight we go to a bar next to our hotel. Afterwards to a salsa/reggae after party hosted by a Jamaican dude we met last week at a free Hari Krishna vegetarian dinner. Going to bed at 4:00 AM is just foreshadowing of things to come.
The feria is very big in Colombia. Ferias are multi day festivals that have several events going on. The big ones will include bullfights, beauty pageants, concerts, parades and parties. No matter what the size of the feria there is sure to be lots of Rumba and even more alcohol.
It was recommended by several people that we go to the Feria de Cali -- “Mucha Rumba.” So we make the effort to book a hotel online and to deviate greatly from our general travel direction to get to the Feria de Cali. The city is Colombia’s third largest and their festival is one of the biggest in the country. The venues in Calí are spread all around the city and we either have to manage the indirect bus system or take taxis. Many of the events are free and just require that we bring a donation of a pound of rice or salt which will go to recent flood victims.
Our hostel is completely packed with travelers from every continent. Everyone is there for the revelry and it is very easy to make friends and drinking buddies. One night at our place more people are awake at 4 AM than asleep. And because we booked late we were stuck in a dormitory. With people returning to their beds at 7 AM and others checking out at 9 AM, a long snooze is hard to come by. Since taking the night bus from Bogota during most of the feria I feel like I am jet lagged from lack of quality sleep.
|Photo courtesy of Juyeon Park|
|We have fun just walking around the amusement park and watching families have fun. |
Adults and kids are waiting in ridiculously long lines for 30 sec rides.
|Time to buy stock in Pop-A-Shot International. Nobody gets anywhere near|
to the 240 points necessary to win a stuffed animal.
|With all of the Rumba we barely see anything of Cali. However, we do |
manage one afternoon to drag ourselves to the art museum and visit El Gato del Rio