Published: September 11th 2010September 7th 2010
We arrived in Bogota from Cartagena without any issues and we went to check in for our next flight to Leticia. During check in, things were taking a while so we began to get a little worried. Apparently, only three of the four domestic flights we had booked in Canada before we had left home were still running. Apparently, there aren´t any flights to Leticia on ANY airline on Mondays or Tuesdays because ¨the runway doesn´t function¨ on those days. Seriously. What the hell?!?!? Do they fold it up and use it as a field for grazing on those days???
Anyways, after much unnecessary stress, Aero Republica were able to book us on to their next available flight to Leticia, which was two days later on Wednesday. However, that still left us with two unexpected days that we had to spend somewhere as well as postponing our plans for jungle activities in Leticia. After a few phone calls, we were able to sort out the accomodation in Leticia as well as find some at a hostel in Bogota so everything was sorted. That was our first incident with proper ¨South American¨ travel, but we are both fairly certain that it will not be our last.
We cabbed into the city and arrived at our hostel with the really nice owner gave us amazing free coffee (that´s right, Peter had coffee) and then we checked into our room. The hostel, Platypus, was very atmosheric with two courtyards, wooden floors and walls, 3 metre ceilings and wood beam rooves. It was a great place and both Val and Peter´s favourite hostel so far.
We relaxed for a bit and then went to wander around Bogota. The city isn´t the prettiest, but one warms to it quickly. This is probably on account of how friendly the Colombian people are. They all stare, but that is because they don´t get to see many blond people wandering around. Also, the children all stare. Both Val and Peter smile back at them and wave and they immediately grin and wave bag frantically. It´s very cute.
We wandered around the town for a bit, through some ridiculously thorough bag searches by the Palacio de Justicia and the Palacio del Gobierno before arriving at Plaza de Bolivar, which is the main square in town. We sat there for a while and watched the military walk backwards and forewards for no apparent reason. It looked like they were a bunch of school kids on a field that were being led around by a teacher.For dinner, we went to a place called La Puerta Falsa. It´s been a desert shop since 1816, and they´ve been keeping the dentists of the masses busy ever since. We had tamales, and hot chocolate that one dips cheese into and drinks. It was all amazing, so much so that we went back for little cookie sized treats that were made of coconut and arequipe which is a type of caramel that is found all over Colombia.
The next day, we went to the Museo del Oro. The museum is four storeys high and comprises much of the gold that was utilized by early civilizations in Colombia over the last 2000 year. It was amazing and was one of the better museums that Val or Peter have been into for a while. There is a lot of gold that is turned into animal shapes of animals because animals such as vultures and jaguars were revered. It was incredible looking at all of the pieces and we recommend a visit when when people are in Bogota.
Very near the museum was a restaurant called ¨Sanduchon y Dulcinea¨. There was a line-up infront of it the other day so we thought we would try it. Seriously, the sandwiches there were in the top five sandwiches ever for both Peter and Val!!! We could understand the line from the day before. Val had tune and Peter had ham, but they came with many other ingredients and an amazing ¨Sanduchon Salsa¨which made everything taste even better. Peter even went back later in the day to get one for lunch on a future flight! After lunch, we visitied a Juan Valdez Cafe. They are a chain, much like Starbucks is in Vancouver, but their coffee is amazing!!! Peter even enjoyed it!
More wandering followed before heading to a place called Yumi Yumi for dinner. Val was hoping for a salad, which wasn´t available unfortunatly, but the sandwhiches had vegetables in them so they were healthy and tasty. Peter even had a red wine mayonnaise in his!
The next morning, we hit the Bogota airport one more time. The runway was finally functioning, so we could fly to Leticia in the Amazon.
Bye for now,
Peter and Val
Things we learned in Bogota:
-All Colombian children are quiet and cute
-They know how to make an excellent sandwich in Bogota