Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bogota - un poco nesecario fiesta

For some reason I did not have highest expectations of Bogota, so the plan was just to head to the city, book a flight to the amazon and move on after a couple of days. What actually happened is we got there (after a 20 hour bus ride), really liked the place and spend a good week living it up just a little.

After the other cities I had visited in South America, the cosmopolitan European feel of Bogota came as a nice surprise. The mega-city (some 8 million people) has many different districts with very different feels to them, but parts of the centre feel straight out of London. My particular favourite barrio was the Candaleria, where we stayed at the Platypus (the only well known backpacker hostel in the city, run by Herman the German and a great laugh). The Candeleria is an old colonial part of town dominated by a university scene with a real edge to it. Loads of cool little rock bars and restaurants. 'La Haim' deserves a special mention as an Israeli restaurant with wonderful food - it got a lot of hungover custom I can tell you.

We spent most of the days sleeping and wondering the streets. Neighbourhoods like San Andresita and a particular local night spot the name of which escapes me are, to say the least, interesting. All in all what made the place was the great crowd of people we hanged round with. German and French Alex's were top company (French one - you have no idea how much the breakfast on the final morning sorted me out after what can only be described as a loco noche) and it was superb to spend some nights with David and the unbelievably smiley Israeli. Margaret and Maria definitely deserve a mention as does Harriet for putting up with a bit of my moaning. From a cool night in a rock club, to an all nighter at a electronica club (I still am shocked that I am seriously enjoying such things), a night at a reggae/ska bar, to the severely odd final night - we certainly got a lot out of our system that was necessary after the "incident" on the north coast the week before.

As for where to go from here, a big decision was made to skip the amazon and jump straight down to Cuzco. A totally snap decision of the best kind. This meant a lot would be missed but unfortunately trips like this are limited and 6 unplanned but fantastic weeks in Colombia forced a change of plans. So with significant sadness in our hearts Dave and I eventually loaded ourselves onto a plane and departed for Peru - to the Inca Trail, Cuzco and beyond. Adios Colombia y gracias - voy a regresar!
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