Beautiful Bogota

Trip Start Jul 09, 2011
Trip End Jul 09, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hostel Fatima

Flag of Colombia  ,
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 1
Left the hostel in Merida at 7 to catch the 8:30 bus to San Cristobal. To our surprise the bus left 40 minutes early, happy days!! It took 5 hours to get to San Cristobal, and we then caught a bus straight away to San Antonio on the Colombia Border. We got our passports stamped and jumped in a taxi to cross the border into Cucuta in Colombia, We arrived in the bus terminal at 3:50 and were on a bus to Bogota at 4 which is handy considering the Bus terminal was dodgy to say the least. From there the bus journey was incredible. It was the kind of road that you would see on Top gear, through the mountains with hairclip bends and fantastic views and alongside rivers and through small mountain villages. It was the kind of drive that you would see on Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson waxing lyrically about. We arrived into Bogota at 8 am and we were immediately struck by how cold it was, the reason being that this city of 8 million  is 8000 feet up in the Andes mountains. We got a taxi to our hostel and dropped the bags and went to the supermarket and got breakfast. We then went and visited a number of museums and art galleries in the area and sussed out the area. The altitude is hitting me big time, while it is having no effect on Annie. She is taking to the lack of oxygen like an old mountain goat!! We then grabbed dinner in a small restaurant and chilled out in the hostel for the afternoon and had a few beers in the La Candalaria district in the evening. We booked a cycling tour for tomorrow so we went to sleep dreaming of being king of the roads of Bogota!!

Day 2
Chilled out in the hostel for the morning and caught up on all that's going on in the world, we then hit the road on our cycling tour which was excellent. We visited a lot of sights in the city including the bull ring, a number of cathedrals, an opera house, the main soccer stadium, a number of parks, an observatory, museums, squares and most strangely of all the red light district which was shady enough and we were glad to do our best Stephen Roche impression and pedal as hard as we could out of there!!! As today (Monday) was a public holiday, the streets were empty which made cycling around a real treat. We met an Irish girl on the tour and arranged to meet her for a beer that evening, she brought a few from her hostel including this Israeli guy who got one seriously dodgy Tattoo that day on his back. He took off his top to display this masterpiece and the tattoo was running down his back!!! Went home early enough as we have a trip up Montserrat hill in the morning by Cable car!!!

Day 3
Up early and tried without success to book flights to Lima. We then headed up the hill from our hostel to get the Cable car to the top of Montserrat, which is a mountain about 1000 metres up with the best views of the city. On our way up we were surprised to see how busy the place had got following the weekend. The streets were thronged with people! We got the cable car up to the top of the mountain, the views of Bogota are unbelievable. We visited a church perched up on the top of the hill, visited a few markets up there, Annie managed to get through them without buying anything (We will call this the miracle of Montserrat 2011!!). We then came back down the mountain, walked to a heaving La Candalaria and Annie decided to treat me to Coffee and a muffin in a nice coffee shop (with my money!). Headed back to the hostel, finally got flights booked. Heading up to an Irish bar tonight, getting up early and heading to see a salt mine about 2 hours outside Bogota in the morning with a massive underground Cathedral so there will be no horsing back pints of Guinness and singing rebel songs and dreaming about the green fields of Greaghwillan tonight (Hopefully not or tomorrow will be a looooonnnnnnggg day!!!)

Day 4
The trip to the Salt Cathedral was cancelled, not a happy bunny!! Chilled out in the hostel in the morning and then walked around the city, walked in through a few markets and grabbed gorgeous Ice cream in the middle of the city, had an early night as we have an early start in the morning, Peru, here we come!!

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