Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Beginning in Bogota-6/7-8

It was a pretty bumpy flight into Bogota, and the landing and clearing immigration was easy as I arrived just after midnight of June 5th. Since there was no public transit, I caught a cab to the Cranky Croc hostel for just over $16 USD.


I had emailed the flight and time of my arrival to the hostel, but they had booked me for the nights of the 7th and 8th. They were fully booked, however, a woman had not showed up so I got her bed for the remaining night. The Hostelworld reviews of this place were very accurate. The rooms, toilets, shower were clean and the fresh sheets were very welcomed

About 4 in the morning, while I was heading to the bathroom, a group of partygoers stumbled into their beds not to move until mid day or so they told me that evening.

It turned out that the hostel only began serving breakfast at 10am on Sundays so I headed down the Av. Jimenez and it seemed like every place was closed up because it was Sunday. I finally found a hole in the wall place where I ordered the Completo Desayuno which was some eggs with tomatoes and onions in a little hot pan along with a bread bun and coffee con leche for just 4200 COP. Lots of rugged homeless were still asleep along this road.

Bogota is covered with lots of graffiti like you see here. They even have "Graffiti Tours" that visit the best of the lot.


Today was not only a Sunday but some sort of holiday where they closed off a number of streets for bicyclists and walkers. I also came across this strange parade with a combination of Chinese dragons and kids dressed up in costumes ranging from zombies, bollywood dancers, to woodland nymphs.

This parade spilled out onto Plaza de Bolivar and you can see Mount Monserrate in the distance. Since it was Sunday it was considered a safe time to climb to the top because hordes of families would take the funnicular or cable car up to the church services and/or have a meal at one of the many food stalls up there.
Here is a clever ad for their chicken soup.
Mount Monserrate is 3125 meters and Bogota itself is at 2625 meters. I walked to the top where there were about 20 people descending compared to 1 ascending. Lots of juice, ice cream, and water vendors along the path of of over 1,500 steps. It was a pretty arduous journey for me because of the altitude as well as the steep path. The ice cream stop was a welcomed rest for me.

The views on the way up were spectacular--lots of red roof buildings in the city below.


On my return to the hostel area, I tried a beer parlor called Bogota Beer Company that had on tap a number of their craft beers----I tried the Policara ale which gave out an after taste of creosote--not my favorite. Across the street I had a dinner of chicken ajiaco washed down with a Poker beer.


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