Salsa will make you want to stay…

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It is almost inevitable when travelling, that you will come across a place that you just can’t seem to leave. Or simply don’t want to. Whether it’s the people, the culture or even just the feel of the place. For me, this was Cali. I went with the intention of staying a few days and quadrupled that.

Admittedly, the graffiti is pretty cool!

Though the city itself isn’t a wow factor; all the little shops have bars preventing people from entering so you have to request what you want and have it handed to you through the metal, BUT the salsa capital of the world is called that for a reason.

first dance class in Cali.

Beer is about the only drink you cannot get in a plastic bag, and after a couple salsa dancing is the norm. I had never been in a club or bar that all just started dancing together in an improvised routine until I got to Cali. If you aren’t dancing you are sleeping, or maybe doing yoga, or taking a salsa lesson, or watching one, or if you are game, making the one hour climb up to Las Tres Cruces.

My friend Sita is an awesome dancer. This is during one of her lessons.

I was very very close to staying. I sought out some potential school I could volunteer in but in the end, but the kiddies of Trujillo –Peru called. So I settled with learning about an amazing foundation called Escuela para la Vida which runs educational programs that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. I.e the whole school is made of bamboo! The foundation which provides a school for 200 children is run by germans, and they had it all pretty sorted out. So after helping them out with some translating (break out in sweat) it was time to move on.

la Escuela para la Vida and one of the amazing architects, Greta.

But not without ordering a pair of custom-made salsa shoes and booking a flight back! So I’ll see Cali again at the end of May with Jaz and laugh at him trying to dance.

Also, a tip: if you want to feel happy, go and watch some Pacifico music (particularly Herencia). This was so much fun.

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