At first, when I arrived, the city seemed like a big colourful favela. I didn’t expect it to be this big. I only knew it was hilly and colourful. And so, I set off without a map, exploring..
And as soon as I got lost among the winding labyrinthine alleyways, I was captivated. There’s an art to getting lost.
And I had discovered the biggest open-air art gallery I know of.
Slightly dodgy, it looked like a gang of graffiti artists swept through the city, with nearly all the walls decorated with some form of street art, spray-painted inscriptions, stencils, and some really fantastic, vibrant murals.
All the houses have tin facades.
When it rains, the rains drum glorious marches.
I stayed in the same hostel for 9 nights. I was due to leave on one particularly rainy Saturday. The rain was heavy and persistent, with fat drops bombing down from the sky, and rivers of run-off water cascading down the hillside alleyways.
The stairs down to the main street looked very slippery. I pictured trying to get to the bus station, and then arriving in Santiago, which had the same weather, and so decided to just stay put, which gobbled up my days in the capital.
Since I had already checked out I was moved to a different room. Logistics sorted, everyone who was imprisoned by the storm just resumed vegging out.
We didn’t go out all day and made do for lunch from left-overs. We listened to music, drank wine, talked in 6 languages, watched (segments of) movies, danced, shared myths, tips and dreams about travels, and all of the above at the same time.
I guess this is what you do when it rains in paradise..
By the time the night rolled around we were quite buzzed (for some unexplained reason there was enough wine there), and so we all dispersed to our respective beds, a bit giggly from a sustained 12-hour hangout.
At some point I had to get up to use the bathroom, and having forgotten that I had changed beds, just stumbled back to my old room and plopped right on Xavi!
He didn’t seem at all surprised or confused (was this a normal occurrence for him?), and just mumbled something indistinctly in sleepy Spanish while I laughed my way back to my bed.