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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .


COLOMBIA | Friday, 22 May 2009 | Views [748] | Comments [1]

We arrived in Bogota in the evening around 9pm (30,000 each from San Gil to Bogota). Arriving late in any city is never our plan as it's not good to wander around in the dark and we can't disguise the fact we are tourists...

On arrival our bus driver grabbed an army guy and detailed him to us for care, he in turn found a tourist policeman who put us on the bus to La Candelaria where the cheap hotels can be found. Unfortunately the bus driver forgot he was supposed to tell us when to get out and we ended up going to the end of the line. This was good and bad. Good was that we ended up way up in the hills and got to see the nightlights of Bogota from up high. Bad was that we had to catch another bus back into town again and pay again, after our original bus driver realised his mistake then proceeded to berate Carol because we think he felt a bit embarrassed.

By now the time was after 10pm and we walked thru La Candelaria looking for a hotel listed in the Lonely Planet only because it had an address (usually LP guide hotels are too expensive). This time we were in luck tho and we got the last room. Next minute 3 Israelis arrived and also needed a room so we all shared together as it was too late for them to try elsewhere and most other places were full. The usual price for room (privado sin bano) here seems to be 34,000.

If you are wondering why we include prices it is because we have other travellers or intending travellers looking at our blog and they are able to see the costs of travel and accomodation which is a help.

On the second day we heard back from Ivan who we had contacted to couchsurf with. He came to pick us up at the hotel at 11pm and took us to his home where he lives with his parents, grandmother, sister and her 4 children and two large dogs.

We spent one wonderful week living with Ivan's family. Kent went for a big walk one day and ended up with bad blisters on his stump, the house went into action and a prosthesis specialist was found not far away and we were taken there one evening. The guy looked at Kents problem and created a couple of filler pads which he glued in place on the socket to take up the space created by Kents stump changing shape.

During the week we went to 1) Maloka (Museum of Science and Technology) spent a whole day there playing, when we get the pics up you'll see a great one of Kent there getting electrocuted. 2) Monserrate, at just under 3000 mtrs up this cathedral is reached by funicular and cable car. We went on a bit of a drizzly day and it was really cold at that height, of course, but it was an amazing view out over the city of Bogota.

3) Cathedral of Salt, an old salt mine that is absolutely huge, the miners carved a cross at the beginning of each tunnel and a church down at the bottom. 4) The Botannical Gardens with Maria-Angela and her children, a fun day. 5) A walking tour of La Candelaria, the old part of the city. Although it was supposed to be in english in the end it was in spanish and another tourist (from Argentina) translated for us. 6) The Museo del Oro, or Museum of Gold, similar to the one we visited in Cartagena and free on Sundays. 7) The Flea Market, man this was full of all sorts of amazing stuff, we would love to bring a container full back to NZ!

Sunday was Ivan's 30th birthday and on Saturday night he, Maria (another couchsurfer staying too) and we got a bit drunk and spent the night laughing and playing on his X-box 360 playing Rockband 2!! woohoo it's fun and hard! Sunday was celebration day with his family, it was neat to see how things are done over here.




Seems I'd have to go farther than South America to escape "Rock Band" :[p

  Haley Jun 3, 2009 10:17 AM

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