Tuesday 23rd October – Silvia Markets
This morning I met up with Sidney, a girl I had met on the free walking tour in Popayán and we headed to the bus station to make a day trip to the town of Silvia where there is local market on Tuesdays and you can see the people from the local indigenous tribes who come down to town from the surrounding communities. The bus ride out to Silvia took about 1hour and 20 minutes and on the way there we had some horrible weather, rain and clouds which didn´t look promising for our planned market day and country walk. Luckily for us, just about as soon as we were dropped off in the town square of Silvia, the weather started to clear up and it turned out to be a beautiful day – unfortunately I even ended up getting quite a little bit sunburned! The town of Silvia is very small and like most south American town is set around a lovely town square space. Right away we were able to see the local indigenous people whose clothing is very distinctive. The men wear bright blue skirts down to their ankles with a coat and bowler hat, whilst the women have lovely capes of the same bright blue material with a hot pink interior. They also wear a skirt and if they are older, a bowler hat, the younger women have a straw type of hat which is really just a flat board type thing to protect them from the sun. Both the men and women wear these really funky boots and many of them have these different coloured shoelaces which are really trendy. Unfortunately the people don´t much like having tourists take their photos so we were only able to get a couple of clandestine shots of the market without being too obvious.
The market itself was a regular South American one, very local with people going about their weekly purchasing business. We were able to buy mangosteens in the fruit section which was super exciting because they aren´t commonly found in this area. We wandered around the market for a little while, people watching, then we headed out on a walk alongside the river through the countryside towards one of the local indigenous towns called Pueblito. The walk was really beautiful and there were a lot of local people coming and going from the market on motorbikes and in these really cool old school jeeps. We passed what appeared to be a funeral happening in the local cemetery. We ended up walking almost all the way to Pueblito before we ran out of time and needed to head back to Sylvia to catch the bus back to Popayán. We were able to catch one of the cool jeeps back and then after purchasing some more mangosteen and some baked goodies from the local bakery, it was time to catch the bus back to Popayán. I had really enjoyed this day out, once again I felt like I had seen a real slice of Colombia, far away from the touristy trail.