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Journey to El Centro

Published:Friday | July 17, 2015 | 7:30 PM
Vendors selling their wares in El Centro, Cali.
Downtown Cali, Colombia.

IT'S amazing how one can lose track of the days when not on the routine.

It's already Saturday which means these World Youth Championships come to an end tomorrow.

Yesterday, for the first time, I had the chance to go walking through Cali's El Centro or city centre.

The district sits around 10 minutes south of my hotel at the Four Points by Sheraton and 10 minutes drive from the Pascual Guerrero Stadium.

Picture Heywood Street leading into Coronation Market on a Saturday morning or during Grand Market and you may get a glimpse of what this area is all about.

Streets lined with local businesses with more expensive Colombian brands such as Gef, Azucar, and Totto while on other streets cheaper Chinese made goods for much lower prices.

On the sidewalks and in the streets themselves vendors of every kind, selling cut fruit for 1,000 Colombian pesos a cup - cut mango, pineapple, limes, oranges, tangerines, and grapes.

A lot of it appeared to be "taste and buy", even the avocado pear.

Tossed in were other vendors peddling cheap knock-offs and other clothing from wooden carts and stalls and a few other selling quality Colombian leather slippers at low prices.

There was a whole section with persons selling gambling games.

One United States dollar is equal to 2.490 Colombian pesos depending upon where you exchange it and when you go, bring your passport, strict regulations make it impossible to do so otherwise.