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Our last few stops before visiting Colombia will be to visit the archaeology parks in San Augustin and Tierradentro and the indigenous market in the town of Silvia. To get to all these places it is almost necessary to pass through Popayan. The city itself does not have so much for the general traveler. It is usually just a one or two day stop on the way to/from Ecuador. Popayan ends up being one of these towns where Mika and I stay longer than most and end up doing a lot of not too much. It is probably a clear sign that we are getting road weary and need to find our place for a several month stay.
The historic center of Popayan is beautiful and easily seen in a day. The only thing I actually want to see here is a church that has two mummified monks. However, the policeman at the tourist office tells us there are not enough officers in town to manage the place.
|I know mummies are in there somewhere.|
Probably the biggest tourist draw to Popayan is the Tuesday market in Silvia, a town about 40 minutes away by bus. Every Tuesday hundreds of Guambino Indians (the indigenous community that has lived in the region for over 500 years) come from the surrounding villages to buy and sell goods and to socialize with friends and relatives. The Guambino are immediately recognizable by their traditional clothing and hats. The indoor market is actually not that large and does not take long to wander around it and the outlying streets. We buy some vegetables and fruit which end up being much cheaper than the supermarkets in Popayan.
|Outside the market|
|An onion seller|
|Approximately 3,000 varieties of potatoes grow in the Andes. |
Many of which are sold at this market.
|Chivas are colorful local buses going to small towns|
|Vaya con Dios - the front of the bus|
|The back of the bus|