Bogota


After the sweaty and long coach journey sat behind a man with a chicken I was glad to get to Bogota, even though it was raining. I pretty much just ate and went to bed as I was tired and fed up. 

Next morning I headed out to find the Gold Museum, which is what I'd mostly been looking forward to seeing here. Bogota is not really what I was expecting. I found it to be really dirty and smelt of urine. The centre was so busy on Sunday I was actually a bit overwhelmed. I walked and walked looking for the museum, which was meant to be a 10 min walk. A woman walked past, old, face full of makeup, a tight coat with massive boobs clambering over the top. Strange. Man drumming up business for his restaurant, looked down and he has a machete attached to his belt. Hmm. Woman stood in doorway, face like a man, massive gut and a triangle bikini barely keeping her saggy boobs in place. Then it twigged. I'd wandered into the red light area. I've never marched so quickly back. That was enough for me, I retreated to the safety of the hostel. 

Monday I had a second attempt at leaving the hostel. Unfortunately most of the museums are closed on this day. I decided to just wander about. I came to a long street that ran alongside some kind of parliament building. People we jogging, cycling, roller blading. So I walked down taking it all in. I came across an usual looking church that was red and white striped and looked like it had come from Russia. I also stumbled upon Bolivar Square which is in most of the photography advertising Bogota. It was okay, full of pigeons and a llama. I went to the Botero Museum, Botero being a famous artist here. I quite enjoyed this as his paintings and sculptures are rather amusing. 


I looked around for a while trying to find the Historical Police Museum. I came across a police headquarters and the guard on the door confirmed it was also the museum and told me to go through to the waiting room. I felt a bit uncomfortable being sat there and wondered if he'd misunderstood me. I waited for a bit. Then all the police rookies were gathered in the corridor and started stamping their feet and shouting to some kind of drill that you see in films. I waited. Got up to look and they were still there. I squealed and sat back down. 20 minutes later it seemed to be safe, so I checked and then ran out of the building. I got the cable car up Monserrate, a look out point over the city. I got a bag of churros on the way down and strolled back to the hostel. 


Tuesday I thought I should try chocolate santaferino which is hot chocolate served with bread and cheese. Then, to find this bloody Gold Museum! It was actually really simple, it was just hidden behind some trees so hadn't noticed it. I'm going to sound really miserable here but I didn't see what the fuss was about. Some of it was quite interesting. I enjoyed The Offering. The room starts off pitch black and then some indigenous music plays and all the gold displays are lit up via a light display. 


Back at the hostel I went to ask at reception about booking a bus to Ecuador because my bank cancelled my flight payment. There was a girl in front of me asking about one of the events for that evening. We got chatting and so decided to pop along with her. The night is called Gringo Tuesdays and is a language exchange evening. I searched out the British and American flags, as obviously I have zero of any other language! It was a pretty fun evening and got chatting to some really nice people. Then they take the chairs away and it turns into a bit of a nightclub. I don't think we'd had enough beers for that so we caught a taxi home. 


The next day we met two other people that wanted to head to the salt cathedral too so we got the bus there and the tourist train, which was followed by a crazy barking stray dog. The salt cathedral I probably had too high expectations of after seeing photos of the one in Poland. It had an eerily peaceful air about it, and they played simple religious songs which gave it a haunting feeling also. Where they had created huge chambers from mining the salt, each chamber was used as part of the story and had crosses carved into or out of the salt rock with the vast chamber behind. At the end of the chambers you go down and underneath where there is the cathedral - which is actually used! It's also still a working salt mine. There is also a 'waterfall' made from salt, so obviously it's not moving but it's visually impressive. 


After the salt mine there isn't much more to report, and even the next day was pretty uneventful, as I just waited for my newly booked flight to Ecuador to be confirmed. It never was and the email said don't go to the airport without having received a follow up email. I waited till 5pm,my flight being at 7pm and then trotted off to the airport, stressing. The alternative being about 3 days on a coach.
Luckily it was fine and they printed my ticket for me there. Then for the 10 hour wait overnight for my connecting flight. I found a quiet corner of the airport where no one else was sat. After about an hour a guy came and sat on the chair behind me. Weird. Then he started sneezing and blowing his snotty nose. Enough! 

There was a section where other people were sleeping so I figured that was probably a safer bet. I arrived at Guayaquil smelly, unwashed, unbrushed and tired.

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