B O G O T Á - C O L O M B I A
been there twice already. arrived in the city a month ago, taxi from the airport to the candelaria - hostel sue. reunion with the lovely sherri (my canadian friend I traveled central with last year) - brought a bottle of flor de caña duty free from san jose airport. homemade dinner and a weekend of house party, museo del oro (inspired to take some jewelry courses), donación botero, zigzagging the stairs to monserrate, cable car down, local bars, introduction to aguardiente, wandering the city. second time around wandered, lots of movietime (rain was raining on my parade), MAMBO (museo del arte moderno bogota), transmilenio experience to the huge mall, another house party. it was all good in the hood but after a total of 16 days in the city needed to get the F out of there. bogota - I will return in some weeks. but I escaped to the bus terminal in an overpriced taxi to wait two hours to board my 24 hour bus ride to the border town of ipiales. one $1500COP colectivo ride later, smooth frontera crossing with an extensive search of everything I have with me by the policia of ecuador (things of concern: my film canister of spice, my sleeping pills, and an animated gesture when he came across my pocket knife) another colectivo (we’re in dollars now - $.75) to the bus terminal, a supposed to be five but ended up six hour bus ride ($4.50) to quito, another overpriced taxi to la mariscal (gringolandia) and here I am - quito! back to the buses - the scenery was incredible as we inched toward ecuador - narrow roads carved out of the side of mountains with incredible valleys and canyons (?) below, clouds hovering above and below us - breathtaking - 35 hours of overland travel? completely worth it.
TAGANGA - COLOMBIA. arrived around 9pm and checked into bayview hostel. met up with sherri, julio, and vicky - drinking, dancing (sensations & mirador), cheap beers on the waterfront, stumbling in the sand. awoke to a nice brunch on the waterfront (sopa de pescado y patacones con queso) and boat ride to playa grande. posted up on the dirty, rocky sand with sherri, julio, and the England girl squad (all awesome). cool swims, ceviche, aguilas. more drinking and drinking, sitting poolside, reading, indulging in the tv room, swollen foot, abondoned tayrona plans, empanadas and fresh juices, petting stray dogs, taking to “hippies”, watching street fights. one week of taganga fueled semana santa then 17 hour solo bus ride to bogota.
URBAN BUDDAH HOSTEL MEDELLÍN. boys went paragliding - I tagged along for the drive and to escape the constant inhalation of smog in the city. beautiful days - sunshine, a bit of tropical rain, our first taste of warm weather. museo with the botero sculptures and paintings - famous painting of the death of pablo escobar. big botero sculptures in the plaza shared with plumerias and palms. mesmerized by the zig zag building. mojito fueled salsa lessons and chauffeured to salsa bar - more aguardiente and live music. hungover - made epic breakfast for the boys. barely caught the bus to cartagena.
CARTAGENA - COLOMBIA. beautiful walled in city on the caribbean coast. hot as hell, perfectly painted buildings with balconies dripping in flowers and vines. witnessed a fight on the beach between two young massage girls (one was pregnant) over territory - hair pulling, headlocks, and crowd forming - front row seats. aguardiente circle sessions in the air conditioned dorm and towers of aguila in the local bar with the swedes (loud music, dancing, and clapping). playa blanca day trip on “fast boat” - beautiful white sand beach, turquoise waters, cold aguilas, fried fish lunch with coconut rice, plantains, and loaded with the spice. impressed all with my ability to catch one of the sand crabs (thanks to my days crabbing from the pier at dillon beach). gained some color/sun burn, soaked on the boat ride back/freezing ( sat on the wrong side of the boat). crepes and waffles twice (third time’s a charm - failed attempts to c&w in bogota and medellin). someone stole our food from the fridge at the hostel - bummer. front seat in colectivo to santa marta.