Hanging with the Hostel Crowd at Petronio

Sinfonica at Petronio

After the cancelled tour and troubles with Avianca, I’ll admit I was feeling a little down yesterday evening. I didn’t want to spend my Saturday night in Cali alone, so I did what I came to a hostel to do: went downstairs and grabbed a beer and started talking to people in the lobby. Within ten minutes, my plans for the night were set: Petronio Music Fest with about ten 20-somethings from all over the globe who were visiting for the festival itself. Being a solo traveler, you have to put yourself out there and when I did I got to spend my Saturday night hanging with the hostel crowd at Petronio.

Petronio Festival

Yes, I got lucky and came to Cali during an amazing free festival called The Petronio Álvarez Afro-Colombian festival. It is held in a large sports complex across town and includes free live music and a huge food tent and today is the last night. So you see how good my timing is!?

The Music

I have been to a lot of music festivals, and this one was a great new experience. I saw 4 different musical acts last night, starting with the incredible Pacifico Sinfonico, a Colombian symphony orchestra.

The music reminded me of Afro Cuban Jazz only with more percussion and really danceable. So much fun! Other bands that followed had even more percussion, and the very large crowd was dancing all night. Yes, I even joined in with my sprained ankle. It was too tempting not to!

Sinfonica a band that performed while I was hanging with the hostel crowd at Petronio

Everyone was complaining last night about the heat, but after Cartagena it’s wonderful. No humidity and a breeze and around 25. Perfect!

Another band was a big group of women singers and male percussion in straw hats. From my search, I think they are called Canto Pacifico but it’s hard to tell! Everyone was dancing to these ladies!

Dancing and hanging with the hostel crowd at Petronio
People Dancing at Petronio

Vendors at Petronio

Something different about this festival, but maybe not unusual for Colombia, were the beverage vendors. There was no cerveza available but there was tons of booze in the form of Sabor. People brought this stuff in with them and were selling it everywhere. And so many varieties! I had never seen it before but I am told it’s the official drink of the Colombian Pacific. Kind of medicinal to me, but everybody loved it! This is another example of something I can’t find with a google search so I am glad I took a photo!

RumSabor sold at Petronio
RumSabor Liquor

I just wanted a cerveza lol but made do with Rumsabor and water. When in Cali!

Glad I went to Petronio

Manzanitta with shrimp and avocado sauce

So Saturday night in Cali was a very fun night, my feet hurt and I was glad I made friends with the young hostel crowd. They hung out with me all night, shared their sabor, introduced me to some new foods, and got me dancing even on my sprained ankle. Thanks to my going outside my comfort zone and talking to people, I ended up having a great night hanging with the hostel crowd at Petronio in Cali.

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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