Once day a year in Bogotá they ban all cars except taxis and buses from being driven, and today was that day. As you can imagine all forms of public transit (cabs, buses, etc) were packed to the brim, so I decided to walk around the city today. I initially planned to do the Bogota Grafitti tour but I got lost and ended up doing my own graffiti tour since there’s very elaborate graffiti practically everywhere you look. Bogotá is on a grid system and is considered an easy city to navigate, but I seem to have no internal compass.
After walking in circles for roughly 1.5 hours I arrived (late) at the meeting point for the tour, so decided to take the Cable Car up to Monserrate. Monserrate, considered a symbol of Bogota lies in the east hills, and can be reached by Funicular, Cable Car, or a walking trail. Sadly the walking trail is too dangerous to do during the week due to armed robberies, so I took the Cable Car.
The weather gods really haven’t cooperated with me since I got to Colombia, but I hear that’s just Bogotá. Actually the weather here reminds me a lot of San Francisco in the winter, cool and rainy. Because of the bad weather I wasn’t able to see the usually spectacular view of the city from above, which is a bummer. Sorta like the first time I visited San Francisco and couldn’t see the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog. Ok I’ll stop complaining now..
It was on Monserrate that I began to have the first realization of “OH MY GOD I’m really doing this”. Quit my job ~2 weeks ago and left my boyfriend and dog behind to see South America for two months. Because Bogotá is a modern city, it really hasn’t felt THAT different than the US. With McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, it just doesn’t feel very foreign to me.
Sadly I wasn’t able to capture the best part of the day on film. Walking through the middle of a normally busy street in Bogotá, I notice a pet rabbit hopping through the street. To the left I see a Pitt Bull sans leash named “Killer” run up, and inches before being eaten the rabbit was saved by its owner and returned to a crying little boy. A few blocks later I get caught in a torrential downpour and run under the side of a building to take refuge. As I glance to the right I notice a woman standing right next to me wearing practically nothing. No nice way to say this, I almost ran into a whorehouse to avoid the rain. Pure class Bogotá!
I’m ready to get out of the city and see what I came here for, the natural beauty of the country.
Next stop: Villa de Leyva
I’m enjoying your travels. I’m glad you’re listening to people when they tell you something’s not safe. There’s an area in Panama City, I forget the name, but everyone said it was not safe to walk through. One time, a bus was blocking the road. Avrego, our full-time cab driver, was very nervous, had Coburn hide the video camera. It was an area known for robbery. Stay safe and have fun!
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