I got to Bogota with fairly low expectations having been told by pretty much all travellers I’d met that it wasn’t really worth the trip. Nonetheless, I was pleased with what I saw and learned about in the taxi, with the driver sharing some useful nuggets of touristy info. I checked in and fairly swiftly got chatting with a French guy, Tim, and Chilean girl who were in the reception. We decided to go out for dinner and despite having to fight a bit to not go to Maccy D’s (seriously!) I found myself in a traditional place and got a few cool local dishes and shared a bottle of wine or two between us and another guy who joined us. Then it was back to the hostel for a couple more drinks and I met a load of other people who were about and learned about there various travels, it was chilled vibe and no one really seemed mad keen for a big night out. That suited me just fine at this point.
I am a firm supporter of kicking off with walking tours, and one of the girls, Lallas, from the night before hadn’t done the Bogota one yet so we agreed to check it out together. She also had a Bolivian other half just like me incidentally! We then went to the gold museum, which was pretty cool and some of the pieces had some interesting stories behind them. Afterwards, we took a respite from all the ‘culture’ and got a hot chocolate in a coffee shop. She was out here checking a load of stuff out semi working and semi travelling – nice way to do it I reckon.
This is a really bad quality picture but it’s like the main attraction from the gold museum so it’s here… You’ll have to visit yourself!
Then it was another fairly chilled night, with hostel food dinner (they had a proper restaurant and it was really good as I recall) plus bottle of wine with Danny and Tim.
The next morning Preena, Amy and I attempted the walk up Monserrat – a hill with a church and mini settlement on top. It was a pretty hard walk as I recall (probably because of the altitude… if memory serves it’s at 2640m ish … not as bad as La Paz, but it’s up there…pun not intended), but worth it with some really nice views of the city up there and some cool buildings to check out. Most importantly, I managed to get myself a well-deserved ice cream.
My memory is a bit hazy but I think then we met up with a few other people including Tim to have lunch with his walking tour group as he’d just done it then. I then went off with Tim to do the ‘food’ tour and the girls did the afternoon version of the mainstream walking tour we’d already done. The food tour was awesome, I really enjoyed it getting to try some stuff I almost certainly would not have ordered otherwise and see a different part of town. Then we chilled in Tim’s hostel for the afternoon before meeting up with some others again for a Choripan (hotdog sort of).
A good few people of the crew left the next morning/the day before, I had breakfast with a couple remaining and then didn’t have much more time before I planned to leave and look at the Salt Cathedral which I’d heard was worth visit. Lallas had been out of the picture a bit recently because she had been unwell, and I learned she’d got quite a nasty cut that looked like it might be infected.. and I started wondering if that was what had been causing it. She had been to the doctor but wasn’t that confident she had understood the instructions and what she needed to take etc. I suggested going back and getting it clear with him and offered to help out with my slightly more advanced Spanish. I think we figured it out and got the necessary supplies / learned what was needed re changing dressing!
The calmest of waters which looks like a mirror until you poke it and start a ripple!
Then I said my goodbyes and moved out on my own… reminded again that it is pretty draining to make friends, live in close proximity, and then just have to leave them knowing you may never see them. Happily, as I’m writing this about a year too late I can gladly say that I managed to meet up with Tim in London since. I hope my path crosses with the others at some point too! Anyways, back to 2018, the cathedral did a fantastic job of occupying my mind from such musings with stunning scenes and an eerie/magical atmosphere to it. It was very cool, I spent quite a while there wandering around. Originally this is where salt was mined and they’ve since converted the vast caverns and hollows into a big place of worship…/ tourist attraction. I also knew shortly I would be flying back to Bolivia to help Cinthya celebrate her birthday and took this opportunity to buy her one of Colombia’s specialties around there… an Emerald!
And there it was – goodbye to Colombia, after an awesome couple of months. I’ve got so many good memories from my time in this beautiful country. If anyone wants to go to South America with only a couple of weeks and a more chilled intention, I would recommend Colombia. If you want to go harder on the adventure and culture it would probably be Peru, but the whole trip was incredible.