Nato and I arrived in Bogota with an American that we had met in Villa de Leyva. Because we had decided to flag central america, I knew I had heaps of time in Bogota, so I booked a 9 day trip to San Andres islands to break it up.
Nato and Brent (the american) only had the one week in Bogota so we tried to cram in as many sights as possible.
On our first day, we checked out our area of town, called the candelaria, which is now historically preserved or something, so it is full of old buildings. We visited the gold museum, which I had heard was amazing, but I wasnt sure how a gold museum could be amazing. Anyhow, it turns out it was an important lesson in horses for courses, because it was BORING. Thankfully, because it was Sunday, museums are free, which was a relief.
We then went to the police museum which was fantastic. They had a cool Pablo Escobar display and there was a lot of cool stuff there to look at. That afternoon we went up a venicular to the top of a hill to get a view, but unfortunately, the only view we got was of the smog that seems to cover most of the city - probably from the 24-7 gridlock that Bogota seems to have!
We had heard that there was a lot of cheap leather in Bogota and the brothers at the hostel had put us in contact with their uncle who made jackets for a few leather shops. We spent a day looking round the outlet shops and then went and saw him and were able to tell him the design, get fitted etc and the next day, we had our own, custom made leather jackets! The price was pretty good and the lads were looking as sharp as they had all tour! It will definitely help me to blend in with the metros in melbourne!
We headed up to a place called Swesca, which is about 40 mins out of Bogota for a night as there is really good rock climbing up there. We went out with a few guides and it was my first crack at outdoor climbing. Nato had done a bit before and was really good. I got up some of the walls but had a few bails to match! It was a reminder that 6 months of boozing and eating is not ideal preparation for having to lift your own body weight, but there is plenty of time to sort that out when I get home!
We had a Friday night out on the Chiva, which is like a party bus, which was great, except they fed us absolute rocket fuel which led to substantial hangovers the next day. That night, we went out to dinner with my friend Charlotte who I did law with at Otago. She works for HSBC and has been living in Bogota for a year. Needless to say, we werent ideal company, and i promised we would be on better form the following weekend!
When Nato left the following Friday, I moved into Charlotte´s spare bedroom. We had a night out at this club or restaurant place called carne de res, which is about 40 minutes out of town and can seat 3500 people. We went with her friends from the british embassy, who all get drivers in bullet proof cars, so it was pretty cool going out in one of them! we had a great night. the next night I went out to dinner with Charlotte, a few of her bosses and another couple. Again, it was quite surreal to be driven round by drivers and we ended up at a karioke bar which was a good laugh.
After that weekend, I had my flight to San Andres on Monday. i have 10 days in san andres and then am back for another 10 days in Bogota before heading home.