We ended up staying in Cali one more night because the autopartes stores were closed on Sunday. The next day, we found the local classic VW parts place with no problem, but again found no front brake pads. They had the later-model bus brake pads, but nothing for a ’71. We attempted to explain why they wouldn’t work, but they insisted it was the correct part.
One of the customers in the shop overheard what was going on and told us to come by his shop. He’s a mechanic and was happy to have us visit. It turns out that he didn’t have the correct pads after all, but it was nice to chat.
Throughout Colombia we have noticed that each city seems to have all it’s businesses divided into neighborhoods. If you want light bulbs, you go to one section of town. Furniture, another. Auto parts, another (crappier) part of town. This shop was actually outside of the parts area and in a residential section of town – very unusual – especially considering the decor. It was clear that he’s been here for a while and the rest of the city has grown around him. Possibly a normal occurrence for a classic VW shop.
Since we didn’t get much accomplished, we took off to find new rear shocks. We’ve gotten many email recommendations, but pickings here are slim and we were just happy to find something that fit. We ended up with Gabriel shocks. For the record, the receipt said they were for a Chevy Luv truck. And, they didn’t seem to care that Bode and I stayed in the car and played games while they put the car up on a lift.
Afterward, we finally got on the road and made the short drive to Popayan. It’s supposed to be a nice town, but we didn’t get a chance to see much other than the inside of the hostel.
The great thing about hostels is that you meet folks than can give you updated advice about where you are going. In this case, the Scottish owners gave us some good advice about where to go next. We were planning on heading toward the border, but decided the spend a few more days in Colombia, with at least 17 hours of off-road driving.
After dinner, Bode found a town square and joined in a game of futbol (soccer) with some other kids. Pretty soon, the teenagers were letting him ride their skateboards and helping him ride their trick bikes. The people are what I love most about this country.