For our final overland journey in South America (Cartagena to Bogota), we decided to take one more long distance bus. I suppose it was fitting then that the bus should be delayed for ten hours thanks to three accidents, countless roadworks and the drivers getting lost. The first of the accidents involved the earlier service from the same company we were travelling with, and we picked up those passengers at the side of the road. Several of them were crying but we never found out what happened. Ah South American buses, how we will miss you.
By the time we arrived in Bogota, it was nightfall the next day. As they opened the hold and handed out the bags, the bus driver picked up a box, the handle snapped, and a pile of dead fish in water fell out on the street. Needless to say, we were glad to get in a taxi and leave that bus behind! We slumped into bed knackered, and piled on the thick blankets against the first cold night we’d experienced for some time. The next day we took a cable car up the steep side of Cerro de Monserrate to view the city from above. The city is 2,625 metres above sea level, and the top of this mountain takes you up to over 3,100 metres. So it’s a pretty good view!
On top of the hill there was also a bizarre figure wrapped up in plastic mummy-style, holding a cross.
Back down on street level I noticed an incredible variety and skill in the street art/graffiti. I will do a post later about this very subject (the header and background of my blog are from Bogota), for now here’s one of the pieces I really liked. Some people may not consider this art, but I do, and it’s all in the details. Notice the ‘evolution’ images at the bottom of shot, from monkey to soldier. The anti-war theme resonated through most of the art.
We stayed in La Candalaria district, an area perched on the hillside popular with students and travellers. Colourful buildings, cobbled streets and alternative shops everywhere.
Every night the square we were next to turned into a street party, with jugglers, musicians, and hundreds of students out late into the night. We found a great restaurant where a meal and a drink cost £2. We tried the Colombian institution of having hot chocolate with cheese dipped in it (I can conclude that it is as strange as it sounds). I tried a few more beers. We booked our tickets for the famous underground cathedral at Zipaquira built in an old salt mine. And as I sipped another Aguila on the rooftop balcony of our hostal, I thought, I’m really starting to like Bogota.