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Nick and Bec's Big Trip Starting on the 29th of June 2008 Bec and I will be starting a year long adventure, spending 6 months in Africa and another 6 months in South America. It should be lots of fun.

A damp Bogota, full of gold

COLOMBIA | Wednesday, 17 June 2009 | Views [620] | Comments [2]

A couple of weeks ago we crossed the border into Columbia and travelled north through Pasto, Popayan, San Agustin on the way to Bogota.  From there we took a flight to the Carribean sea, Cartagena.  We wandered the streets of the historical town, now a large and imposing city, climbed yet another volcano, this one was only 20 metres or so high and filled with supposedly theraputic mud, then turned south and went the back-way, via Mompos, to Bucaramanga, where we are now.  We are only staying here a short while, to try the fried giant ants and catch another bus to San Gill, roughly two and a half hours away.

Here´s my journal entry for the 7th June a walking tour through Bogota.

Today we toured Bogota by foot and visited the Museo del Oro, Museum of Gold, and to quote or guide book, "arguably the most important gold museum in the world".

Starting at the beginning though, we left our hotel, Hotel Aragon, and headed to Plaza Bolivar. named after that revolutionary so important in South American history especially the countries to the north and west of Brazil.

Avoiding the pigeons we had a peek inside the cathedral, a typical catholic place of worship with lots of ornate stone work and gold, plus paintings of the saints and JC high in the arches.  We completed a loop of the isles and high altar emerging back outside taking a swift right turn towards a bakery where some chocolate star shaped things were purchased, before heading slightly up hill for the art gallery of Botero.  Not someone I have heard of, but I liked his style.  His drawings and paintings of chubby people and oversize fuit are enough to put a smile on most peoples faces.  In the gallery we also came across, unexpectedly which is always a nice surprise, some raunchy Picasso, some Henry Moore, a solitary Salvador Dali and a couple of Renoirs and a Monet.  My favourite, apart from the amusing, but slightly overweight Boteros, was a photorealistic painting of, I presume, a North American city from the inside of a bus or tram.

Not to gabble on about paintings, we left and headed for the fantastic museum of gold in the drizzle of Bogota.  We decided to hire an audio guide to help us through the rooms, exhibits and displays of gold, copper and silver, collected from around Columbia prior to the arrival of the Spanish.

We saw fabulous and intricate breast plates, nose rings (they must have had huge noses), ear rings and crowns.  Cast, foled and hammered into shape from ingot and flat sheet adding great detail.  All interesting stuff to a couple of engineers.  We watched the videos, listened to our audio guide and tried to absorb it all, not an easy task.

Next we learnt about the Shammans and their transcendence to another level of the cosmos using hallucinogens to allow themselves to become bird flying into the heavens or pumas to gain great strength.  The Shammans commanded great respect using their abilities to predict the unknown, cure the sick and foretell of impending disaster.

We decided to leave after seeing the magnificent gold ship, the detail was incredible, and find lunch in the worsening drizzle. We struggled up Carrera 7 amongst the slow coaches and weaving in and out of the endless tat sellers.  You could buy anything from a rubber spiderman to broken TV sets.  We didn´t make a purchase.

On arrival at the multiplex cinema, we looked at the films on offer and decided they could wait for the flight to Sydney did a u-turn and decided to go up the 172 metre 48 story office building open as a mirador on weekends.

So after 46 floors by lift and the remaining 2 by foot we exited onto a walkway around the top of the mighty building to views of a wet Bogota all around.  Some of the roads through Bogota are arrow straight and appear to go on forever, well at least to the rain clouds in the distance.  We did a circuit, took some snaps for the record and descended.

That was about it for today, we wandered back stopping for a toilet break, lunch did not agree with me and then headed back to the Hotel to rest our damp weary limbs.

We have only a few days left of our year long trip.  Next for us is getting a flight in Bogota on the 23rd June to Santiago, then on the 26th June we leave South America for the long flight to Sydney.  Time flies when your are traveling the world.

Comments

1

Don't believe a word of it! We think that you have been on Monte Cristo, for the past 6 months, living out a Tarzan and Jane fantasy. Besides we were positive that we saw you on "Britain's got talent" as an Elvis and Cilla duet. Are we on the right track? Anyway wherever you are Bon Voyage and England for the Ashes.
dlk

  Dad Jun 18, 2009 4:05 AM

2

Will you be bringing any gold samples home or just mud from the volcano. I expect the year has gone very quickly. Anyway enjoy the short time you have left before you start your next adventure!

  Pat Jun 21, 2009 3:18 AM

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