Note #1: This is more of a summary than my traditional journal style. During our time in Colombia, we were very busy and I wasn’t able to write everyday.
Note #2: This journal was posted but not emailed.
October 1-6, 2008
We had a great time in Bogota despite the weather being absolutely horrible the entire time. It was so cold and wet...a big switch from what we were used to. I guess there is a lot of that in store for the coming months. I guess it didn't affect us that much because we were pretty busy the entire time we were there. We stayed at the Cranky Croc, I newer hostel in the Candelaria area. The place was good but a huge portion of it was open air which was a bad combination for the cold temps and bad weather.
The first night, in typical fashion, we went out for one beer which turned into 10. Jodi and I partied with some local dudes...one of which was super wasted and pretty weird. There’s a hit song down here called “me gusta”...I’m confident it was one of his favorites. The guy almost had a fit when it came on at the bar. Drouyn met some cool local girls that night and despite some very broken Spanish, managed to hang out with them in the bar for about 3 hours on his own.
The next day we made an attempt to find some warm clothes which was pretty unsuccessful. I did atleast pick up a wool hat to wear. Diego and Yvonne came to the hostel that night...it was great to see them again but we were sad to hear that Diego got his camera stolen that day while walking in the city. He had fallen victim to the old move where they squirt something on you to distract you. Last time I was in Bogota, a similar attempt was made on Tony's Dad. The pickpockets here are inventive and VERY fast so be aware if you're down here. That night was a total blast! We ended up in a local bar that was playing salsa/meringue/cumbia. This one guy Armin/Germany went out with us and I think the guy had more fun than he had in the last 10 years. It was hilarious watching a local guy try to teach him to keep the beat of the songs. We had actually met him in the previous few cities and I never pictured him the type to go out on the town...funny stuff.
The next day I went up to visit Erica’s Mom and sister. They live pretty far north so I was there the entire afternoon telling them about traveling and just catching up. Erica’s Mom is a chef so she made me a fantastic little meal. We decided I would bring Jodi and Drouyn up there for lunch the next day and then maybe do something in the afternoon.
That night we were all a little sluggish from the previous couple nights of partying so we just stayed at the hostel.
On Saturday we went to the Policia Nacional museum...it was pretty interesting. They had a lot of pictures and stories detailing the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, a very famous drug cartel kingpin who ruled the world’s cocaine trade for most of the 80’s. It was rumored that he was earning 30 billion a year back in the late 80’s! Amazing story, and definitely worth a read on Wikipedia.
That night we went out in the Zona Rosa with Erica’s sister, Angelica and one of Jennifer friend’s, Diana. There was a pretty funny story. We had planned to meet up with them at a place called the Bogota beer company. Well, it turns out there are 2 of them and they are only 5 blocks apart. We ended up getting out of our cab at the wrong one. While I was trying to figure out what went wrong, a guy that Drouyn had met back in Guatemala jumped out of a cab...”I know that guy!” Turns out he just happened to be going by in the cab and saw Drouyn on the street and got out! Small world. (Although no small world story will ever beat this one) We decided to stay at that beer company and we had a great time. Afterwards we went to club that was just okay, but a good time was had by all.
That Sunday was soggy and cold...after the late night, it took us awhile to get going but a group of 6 of us went to the salt cathedral. It’s outside of Bogota and one of the big touristy things to do if you are here. The bus ride there was WAY too long but it was worth the trip. We got some great pictures in the cathedral...here are a couple:
We had dinner there in Zapiquira and then headed back. We wanted to stop at a famous bar in the area, Andres Carne de Res, but it was too late and we were too tired.
On Monday we went to Monteserrat, a church at the top of a mountain that overlooks Bogota. You would think it was the highlight of the day but it wasn’t...it was something more of the natural sense. Somebody at the Cranky Croc took it upon themselves to take THE most massive crap in the history of man. I’m not kidding...it was unbelievable! It was just one giant turd! This thing was unflushable and I’m sure several attempts were made. It was like a turd from another planet! Almost everybody in the hostel was in awe of the size of this thing...I am serious...atleast 30 people looked at it. I know it’s gross but you had to see for yourself to believe the size of this thing. It was a once in a lifetime turd. It’s something people will talk about for years. It stayed there for almost 10 hours. It couldn’t be flushed away. Finally around 7 that night I saw the made coming out of that bathroom with a huge stick...I just looked at her and she goes “Muy Malo!”. I mean, she must have seen some pretty huge dumps in her day being the maid in a hostel and even she had to shake her head and say, “that was impressionante!”.
Anyway, The ride up on the cable car to Montserrat was cool...we took a bunch of pictures up there.
After we came down we went to a nearby market and I finally got a sweatshirt. That night we went for beers near the hostel and I invited Angelica. Through the course of the night I convinced her it would be a great idea for her to travel with us...the next day we would find out that she could! Awesome...nothing like corrupting people. We had to wait for her to finish up some work but that night at 10, the 4 of us boarded a bus for Manizales.