Back in Cali just for 1 day... zoo, sweets, delicious dinner and comfort!!!
Cali Travel Blog› entry 11 of 15 › view all entries
October 26th, 2009 – by: yadilitta
Ok, now it was time to start moving. This would be the last day in Colombia, so the plan was trying to arrive to Cali early. Why? well, there was one thing I really wanted to see and missing it wasn't an option: the zoo.
Among all the hotels I checked the last day in Cali, there was one located in Granada - the "in" area of the city - that looked very nice, offered a good rate (although it was still expensive) and comfy. Ok, let's go there. I had the business card with me and took a cab. I was right, there was plenty of availability.
Ok, now I was having second doubts... should I leave or stay enjoying the hotel? hahaha. It sounded to tempting... no no no, better go to the zoo and come back early. There was a mini fridge in the room, where I could storage all the sweets for my family. Just have to be sure to remember to take them with me :P After settling down it was time to leave. How could we reach the zoo? Well there are small buses called: Taxi! hahaha.
It was noon when we arrived to the zoo. I was as excited as a little girl, hahaha. I was about crossing the gate, when a lady called me: "Senorita, are you going in?" Mmm, I guess so... There were some vendors at the entrance. This lady was selling stuffed animals and told me she had a pass to the zoo. She won that in a contest, but wouldn't use it. So, she asked if I'd like to buy it. Instead of paying the regular fee 9,000 pesos, she'd charge just 7,000. That sounds like a good deal, but what if it didn't work? Well, she said I don't have to worry about that. I could take the tickets and just if they worked I'd pay for them in my way out.
Well, it was time to try those tickets. I went straight to the guardian and asked if I could use these tickets. He said there was no problem, but have to stamp them. Ok, deliver them to the cashier and he stamped them and wished me a good day, nice! Before going inside the zoo I made a sign to the lady outside, so she'd know it worked, yay! The zoo looked very nice and there were signs everywhere, plus maps.
The map was very handy, although there are many signs that make things easy. First were the flamingos and it's so children oriented. There was a big puzzle with the history of the place. So embarrassing, but I didn't finish it, hahaha. Then I saw the first large group of kids. They might have been 3-4 years old. So sweet. And I was the one carrying a yellow stuffed monkey around my neck :P
Ok, first stop would be the "Tropical Birds" Area. I didn't say anything, but I don't think birds are that smart... I wasn't that excited to go there, but it was cool. The birds are free, well there are high ceilings and walls, but you walked inside the big "cage". There were different spices of birds and of course I took tons of pics.
Next area was the "Ape" one. OMG! These cute little fellows were that: cute!!! They were behind glass, so nobody could touch or feed them. But they were still close and would approach you. In fact one drove a bit crazy with my bright yellow monkey, hahaha. He tried to fight against it, hahaha, until he got tired and left. I know there are several spices of apes in the Amazon, but it always amazes me. Some of them were small and cute and other were bigger, but all of them were so "human".
Leaving the Ape area you would find the Emus - which Shawn found sort of disgusting, I don't know why. Personally I don't think so - Antelopes and caymans, which look scary but having a laaaazy day.
Back to the road, there were the ostriches. OMG! Their skin - without feathers - is awful! I like their eyes, really nice! But they look sort of mean... nevermind. Near them there were these small animals called "meerkat". They are lovely! I had just seen them on tv and on a movie. How could I forget the famous Timone from "Lion King"? This was the first time I saw them "face to face" hahaha. They are so cute, playing all the time, so full of life!
It was past 1pm and neither of us was hungry, but could have a snack. At the zoo they have several places where you can grab a bite and also a food court, but wasting time eating? No, better getting something tasty that could be eaten quicky, hehehe.
There were some zebras and bears in the way to the "Mariposario" aka Butterflies' house. I saw a very nice one in Ecuador, but it'd be great to visit this one, after all Colombia is the country with the largest number of day butterflies. Over 3,500! There were some tips to assure you to watch a butterfly: keep your eyes wide open and check over the plants, also the food plates. There were some plates with fruit and butterflies love it. Don't forget to check the corners and if you feel something on you, keep quiet and don't move. I thought it was a butterfly what I was feeling, but it was a mosquito that bite me, grrrr. Oh well...
It was getting hot and the ice cream shop was particularly attractive.
Some other animals and arrived to the Amphibians' area. There are many species in Colombia and they are proud of it. While you were walking along this area, there was a voice of a little frog telling you the story of the amphibians and their importance, hahaha. That voice scared me at the beginning. What's that?!?!?!
There were other animals to watch and the zoo was over. It's big, but I was expecting a bigger one. I enjoyed it, it's very well maintained and all the people working here are really friendly.
Back to Granada area, now it was time to enjoy the hotel and just relax. Mmm, didn't do much, just being lazy, hahaha, and of course a tour around the hotel to take pics, hahaha. This hotel was so nice and I was surprised it was empty. They have a nice terrace, pfff. The view was good, although it was a bit loud and windy here... of course I used the time to make a research about where to go to have dinner, hahaha.
Finally almost at 7pm we left. But it was too early to have dinner. This area was popular for its nice restaurants, boutiques and environment in general.
After walking down the big avenue for a few blocks, it was time to make a turn and then I saw it! It was a very nice bakery. They were just about desserts, but really good ones. All of them looked so tempting... ok, didn't have to think twice. Make a stop here, hahaha. The only difficult choice was which dessert to choose, hahaha. Ok, to keep it simple and local what about getting one with a local fruit? The winner was the Uchuva one. The uchuva is a local fruit, which we call aguaymanto in Peru. This cheesecake was delicious! Sweet but not too much.
Ok, back to the road and find the seafood place. The streets in this area are very nice. Everything looks trendy, how cool! The name of the restaurant was a bit covered by some branches, but I could recognize it. I have a 6th sense for looking for restaurants, hahaha. Perfect! Let's go inside. Since the entrance I loved this place. I was sure, this would be a wonderful experience, hehehe.
It was early and the restaurant wasn't crowded, so it was very simple to get a table, even choosing it. We sat down and the waiter brought the menus. Wow! This would be a difficult decision. Everything sounded yummy... While we were checking them, the waiter brought some complimentary crackers with a tuna sauce instead of butter.
Well, make it step by step and start with the appetizer. There was one called "Frutos del Sarten" that has 3 types of traditional appetizers, sweet! A few minutes later, the waiter came with a platter with a sample of an aborrajado, a bunuelo and an empanada. Yummy!!! They were small but full of flavor. Tumbs up! Well, now we were ready to order the main dishes.
While we were waiting for our food, I went to explore the restaurant and to take some pictures, hehehe. The maitre saw it and we started to chat. I told him I was Peruvian and a foodie, hehehe. When I was back at the table, I found some complimentary garlic bread. More complimentary food, how nice!
Now, time for the food. I ordered a "Mar del Sur" Salad (South Sea) and asked them to change the calamari for shrimp, yay! Salad was fresh and tasty, yay! I liked it the most, but the dish with the better look was the "Cazuela del Pacifico" which was a soup that comes inside a coconut! Yes, it had some coconut flavor.
Food was delicious. It was a good idea we had dessert first. After so much food, we wouldn't have been able to eat it, hehe. Well, it was time to leave and the maitre met me at the door to give me a small present, how kind of him! I didn't open it until I was back at the hotel and it was a small candle, nice detail!
How to go back to the hotel? Walking! It was a must! hahaha. Night was nice, not too warm, nor cold. Perfect temperature. Before going to bed, I arranged a cab for driving us really early (5 am!) to the airport... well, it was getting time to go back to real life... and to Gunthercito!!!
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