Last day in Bogota

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

We started off the day with the same mediocre breakfast. This time we were joined by the German lady, Leanne, and an Aussie girl, Sophie.  Sophie was the first person that we had met who spoke English as a first language and with whom we didn't have to speak slowly and deliberately.  We made the plan with them to all go to the bus station together, as Kory and I wanted to find out about the bus to Cartagena, and the girls wanted to book their tickets out of Bogota.  We were still deliberating if we should go to Cartagena or not.  We had heard unanimously positive comments about it; for its colonial, walled city architecture, its Spanish classes and most importantly its weather!  However, we knew the bus was meant to take 20 hours (who knows how long it will actually take, it could take double the intended time) and we were concerned about putting the bikes on to the bus (how much would it cost us, would they be safe, would the boxes get soaked through on the roof of the bus?).  So we considered going somewhere closer to Bogota or flying up to Cartagena, or just doing our language classes in Bogota.  I had found Bogota quite uninspiring so didn’t really want to stay there any longer, in the rain.  So, therefore we headed to the bus station with the girls to check out our options.  Sophie spoke some Spanish, so we were grateful that she was with us to help.  However, I think discussing taking large boxes with bicycles in them on to the bus as luggage probably stretched her language skills.  After a few hand gestures and confused smiles from the ticket seller, we had our seats booked for tomorrow at 2.30pm.  If only we could take Sophie with us tomorrow when we need to convey to the bus driver what we want to do and to negotiate a price.  The bus tickets cost 100,000 pesos, about 70 dollars…not cheap, but we are coming to realise we are not in Asia anymore and things in Colombia are more expensive than we are used to on our previous travels.

When we got back to the hostel, we all decided it must be time for lunch, but again it was raining, so we didn’t want to walk too far.  In the end, we just went back to the spot that Kory and I went to the day before.  Again they were serving a meal of the day, however this time Sophie explained what was on the menu and did all the talking with the server.  It was good of her to help us but I’m pleased I’m not always surrounded by people who can already speak the language because I need the opportunity to practice and make mistakes.  Again, the lunch was tasty, with a cream of chicken and vegetable soup and a fried chicken breast, with rice and vegetable main dish, with yummy real lemonade. 

After lunch we thought we might check out a museum, so walked down towards the plaza.  The Museo Borrato had numerous rooms with paintings, sculptures and an informative display on the coins of Colombia.  It mainly had teenagers in school uniform in it, I guess they were also looking for a free place to hang out, when it was raining and school was over.  We didn’t do too much else in the evening, Kory put some books on to his Kobo and I wrote some of my journal and tried to sort out some finances.  We wandered the streets in the drizzle to find some dinner and came across a cheap looking taco joint.  One of the other customers spent a while trying to teach us what the words on the menu meant.  We knew the simple things, meat, chicken, cheese but she was explaining beans, lentils, sweetcorn etc.  On the whole people have really tried to help us with learning their language.  I think that they can see that we are trying, so they are willing to try to help us, which is great.  It makes me wonder how much more I would’ve gotten from other countries if I had spent some time trying to learn their language.  This is the first time we have had to though, because the majority of people here don’t speak much English at all.
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