Playing Tejo in Cali

Tejo is the national sport of Colombia, and finally, after two months of running around this country, I got to play. Think shuffleboard or petanque, but with explosives and alcohol. A group of friends divides into teams. The object is to toss a metallic disk underhand into a clay bed and to land your metallic disk in the center of the target or to hit a “mecha” (a little piece of dynamite) so that the mecha explodes. Hitting a mecha means points! I was a little nervous about the whole dynamite thing. But it turns out the explosion is rather mild. Another important rule is that team members drink with each toss. The national liquor in Colombia is augardiente, an alcohol made from sugarcane that has the unique and wonderful property of not giving me hangovers (unlike beer and wine and virtually every other drink). The Colombians drink aguardiente collectively–they order a whole bottle and then pour tiny shots into little plastic cups to share. Like the Brazilians share a long-neck bottle of beer. I love these cultures where people order a drink collectively and share. . .

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4 responses to “Playing Tejo in Cali

  1. Interesting game… Looks like fun if you have a big group of people playing together… So I am assuming nothing exploded with your toss?? Was looking for a little pop or something. I will have to play this when I get down to Colombia.

  2. where did you play? We’re currently in Cali and looking for a match! FYI – the notorious bar in Salento with Tejo has closed!

    Jason, Angela, Bode

    • Funny, wish I had played tejo in Salento too! While I was in Salento apparently someone was murdered in one of the saloons on the main drag. A murder seemed so incongruous with the vibe of the town!

      So in Cali we went to a place that was called Amigos Social Club or something like that. There was no one else there on a Wednesday night, just our large group. If you stop by Cafe Tostaky, a hostel in San Antonio, Lisseth who works there in the evenings will surely know because she was there. Good luck and have fun! Your blog looks fantastic. Can I ask what template you are using if any?

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