Bogotá, Colombia

Topics:
Arrival
Monseratte
Platypus

Hotel

Work

Dinner Party

Gold Musem

 






I arrived to the airport 45 minutes before the flight left, but since flights now close 1-hour before departure, I missed my flight to Atlanta and to Bogotá. Luckily, the man at the counter found a way for me to take an American Airlines flight to Bogotá via Miami.
Mount Monserratte Looms Above Bogota
Pleasant flight to Miami. Sat next to the owner of a Colorado Kayak school who was going (with 4 others) Kayaking in Ecuador. This guy lived and worked in Bend at the same time as me, pretty coincidental.

The flight to Bogotá was less pleasant - over the Andes Mountains the plane hit a strong storm, with severe turbulence. Just before Bogotá, the plane dropped about 250 feet, causing shrills from most of the women in the plane.

Issues (from BBC):

Country Profile

About the "War Tax"

The FARC

The ELN Kidnappers

The AUC mercinaries

Monseratte:  

The travelers here have all been on the road for a long time. They have an abundance of time, relative to cash, so even if they can't sleep, they will stay in the youth-hostel and read in the dark in their dorm rooms. Understandable if you've got 300-400 more days to wander around.
I didn't, so I set out on Saturday morning to see all of Bogotá, which I partly accomplished. I climbed Monsserrat, descended with some "camposinitos".

    

Church and Gardens at the top of Monseratte   

Foot-Path to the top of Monseratte

Hillside greenery.

  

This Colombian kid ran down the entire mountain with me on Saturday.

With his friends at the bottom.

Platypus:

Took the taxi straight to the Platypus, a favorite backpacker's hotel. Got a room with a British guy. Very social place, with most tenants sipping beer and talking most of the evening, then going out to clubs at night. After buying a round of "Club Colombia" beers for the group, we all went up to the "Zona Rosa", where most of the nightclubs are. We entered "La Sala" after about 30 min. wait outside, and getting frisked for weapons on the way in. The venue was "trance", and the "crew" at La Sala was impressive. Bouncers wore full suits and headphones, Most characters there wore 70's style, two-toned sunglasses inside, despite the darkness, and the women universally wore very low-cut, Brittany Spears pants, with a tube-top, or bathing-suit top. 


Juan Camillo and Marie picked me up from the Platypus to show me around Bogota, and we had a great time, and took me to the new Andres Careras restaurant in Chia, where everybody eats and dances on the tables all night long. A great weekend, but by Sunday night, I had to settle down into my hotel and get ready for class and work.
Hotel I stayed at the Hotel Rosales - a very nice place in the Rosales district on Calle 72.
Work:

Most of the time, I spent working through the MPSGE class for the MinHacienda and the Department of National Planning.  The group was excellent and I believe we all had a pretty fun time. Some pictures of the people are below.

Lunch in the Candelaria

(Gustavo, Sergio, Juan Pablo, Ana Maria, Javier, Carolina, Claudio)

 

Waitress at a restaurant

Fruitstand outside the Fonade Building

Dinner Party at Natalia's:

Friday, March 8th: Women's night.  The Mayor of Bogotá wanted to prove that women were less violent than men, so he declared March 8th to be "Ladies's Night" in the City.  All of the men are supposed to be inside by 7:30PM.  Because of this, one of the DNP employees, Natalia, decided to have a dinner party for the male-refugees. Some pictures are below:

Juan Mauricio, Claudia, Claudio, and Gustavo Tomas

Carolina, Andres and his wife

Me and Sergio

Friday Beers after work

The Museum of Gold:  The people at the museum don't let you take pictures -- these are all I could get.  The museum has some very famous gold sculptures inside, and is well done.  Recommended.
Sergio, me and Gustavo at the Museo del Oro