Ji and I arrived in Bogota late the night before (after being upgraded to First Class – woot woot!), and went straight to our hotel and to sleep. But today was going to be an exciting day – a Bogota Bike Tour.
We started our day in the charming outdoor breakfast space in the hotel, and though the eggs were a little questionable the rest of the food was delicious.
We headed into the city for a tour we had organized with Mike’s Bogota Bike Tours, which we found on Trip Advisor and was so great. There were about 15 people, with Mike being the leader and Christian and Blanca our extended guides. We met a fun American named Ana and we had some good laughs while Ji tried to remember how to shift gears. A bevvy of pictures to follow:
Mike took us to a fruit market where we indulged in all sorts of wonderful food and tastes and took a tour of the market as a whole. There were a lot of fruits we’d never tried before – some of them good and some of them not so good. But always worth the try; of course.
Central Cemetery of Bogotá
Mike took us to the Central Cemetery of Bogotá, which is a lovely spot in the center of the city and has all sorts of interesting things to see.
Whispering wishes (on behalf of Ji’s Mom) into Leo Siegfried Kopp’s statue
The markings of unused graves. PP = Personal Property (privately owned)
L = For lease
Recession-friendly tombstone marker
Next stop was a coffee factory with cocoa and a coffee shop. They gave us some cocoa but it was so full of sugar that it was nearly impossible to eat. The coffee, however, was delicious. Ji and I shared a table with a guy from Finland named Aigars (Eye-garz) who was eating some of the yuca bread. We didn’t love that. Sort of smelled like sweat socks.
The art of making a cappuccino
My teddy bear cappuccino
After the coffee shop, the clouds got very grey and it began to sprinkle. Then it began to pour. And pour. And POUR. It wasn’t overly warm in Bogota that day, so we were wet and cold very quickly. Mike ushered his soaking bike tour into a covered area where we waited for the worst part of the downpour to pass over, and he handed out ponchos to each of us. After 10 minutes of waiting we powered on through the rain and into a bullfighting ring.
A tourist has been visiting Bogota for a week. He is leaving the next day and he still hasn’t tried the food.
He goes to a restaurant and sits down to order and then sees what the man next to him has. It looks very tasty. The waiter comes to take his order and the tourist tells him he wants what the other man beside him is having. The waiter says there is no more left. The tourist then asks him what the meal is and the waiter replies that it is the testicles from the bull that lost the bullfight earlier that morning. He tells the tourist that if he comes back tomorrow he’ll save this meal for him.
The tourist thinks, “What the heck, it’ll be my last day here,” so he comes back the next day and the waiter has his food prepared for him when he comes. The man eats the meal and thinks it is delicious. But he is confused about one thing. He calls the waiter over and asks him why his meal looked smaller than the meal the other man had the day before.
The waiter replies, “Oh, sorry sir, sometimes the bull wins.”
Empanadas and The Gold Museum
After the bike tour was over, we said goodbye to our soggy friends and walked to the Museo del Oro to see their collection. But first we found a number of stands selling food. Ji was craving empanadas, and we were both starving, so we took cover in a lady’s delicious cabana. She let us try the drinks too; both were odd tasting but we were happy to have food and drink.
It was cold in the Gold Museum, and combined with being soaking wet we were absolutely chilled to the bone. So we caught a taxi to the hotel and spent time in very hot, hot showers until we felt warm again.
Our first dinner in Colombia was at Astrid y Gatson, a convenient 10 minute walk from our hotel and absolutely delicious. We took each of the waiter’s recommendations and loved every bite. We had reservations at 7:00 or 7:30, and we were only two of a few people there. But when we left the place was packed. Clearly the Colombian cool people culture is to go out much later than we do. Didn’t matter to us, though. We were ready for bed.