Quick notes…

I’m back in the hostel getting ready for an early sleep. I have to catch a bus to Medellin in the morning. I just wanted to run through a few quick notes.

I’m really enjoying having access to wifi like this in the hostels. I was talking to a couple of other people who have been traveling South America over the last 3 months and said it’s pretty standard now. It makes staying connected and sharing travels really easy.

I love arepos. Arepos are these small pancake like snacks that you can get just about anywhere. With cheese or ham or just plain. I have been doing a lot of snacking and not so much eating big meals.

I ate meat on a stick tonight. It was delicious.

I have only seen one western fast food restaurant and that was a McDonalds in downtown Bogota.

Laptop and a cerveza

I’m leaving Bogota tomorrow but I feel like I was just about to get settled in and comfortable here. It has been nothing special though.

I realize that it takes me a few days to adjust to traveling alone. I am never comfortable until the 3rd or 4th day. I even thought to myself in bed last night, why do I do this to myself, what am I gaining? And then eventually a day comes along and you get smacked in the face with a reminder… I haven’t quite had that night yet but I’m gradually getting there.

This hostel is ridiculous with the noise at night. However, it is what it is and I learned tonight that I need to let it happen. I can’t complain. People are just having a good time, even if those people are the employees.

Colombia LOVES Guns ‘n Roses. I have heard more GnR in the last 3 days than I have heard in a long time. Use Your Illusion 1&2 are practically on repeat in the hostel and street performers and easy listening stations love to play “Patience.”

I am surprised at the music choice of Colombians in Bogota. I expected to hear a lot more hip-hop and reggaeton. Instead, I find that rock music is far more widespread.

Christmas is huge here.

I’m tempted to sit down to some video poker at a casino if I can work up the nerve to walk in.

I accidentally ordered a hot dog as my first meal. I asked for empanadas and they didn’t have any so I panicked and pointed to “perro caliente,” After taking a second to read what I just ordered I realized it was just a hot dog. It was interesting though, it had salsa and cheese on it with fried plantain chips underneath it. At least it was something different.

Tinto and aromatica are good. I’ll have to talk more about that again.

Colombians are incredibly diverse. Everywhere I look I see someone that doesn’t look like the next person. It’s crazy.

I think because it is so diverse I haven’t really felt out of place yet.

And yes, the women are beautiful.

Buenos noches!

I Love Mountain!

I arrived in Bogota yesterday afternoon around 2pm. I didn’t shift time zones so that was very nice and the flight was rather quick. 3.5 hours from Miami. Customs and money exchange were smooth and since I didn’t check any baggage I was out of the airport and on my way to the hotel very fast.

I want to start off by saying. I LOVE MOUNTAIN. Having lived in Florida for almost two decades the only scenery I get if i haven’t been to the beach in awhile, is concrete and billboards. It was so nice to be immediately hit with mountain landscape behind the city. The first thing that I noticed hovering over the entire city was a statue of Jesus with his arms held out on top of the mountain much like the Christ Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro.

The importance of Christ in Colombia doesn’t end with the statue. It seems the entire country is in a mood of celebration for Christmas coming up. You will not hear the phrase “Happy Holidays” from anyone’s mouth this month. Whether it is getting out of the taxi or exchanging money for food at the stalls, it has been “Feliz Navidad!” from everyone.

I went out last night in search of a club called Casa 33 where a drum and bass show was happening that I had heard about online. I had sent a message to one of the performers and used the Facebook event page to communicate with some locals that would be attending. Unfortunately, I was not able to meet up before hand with anyone so i went out and committed the cardinal sin of traveling in a new city… I wandered aimlessly in a two block radius looking for it. Luckily, there was a festival happening right there so instead of walking around for too long I decided to check out what was happening. I was on Calle 32 and the streets were decorated with Christmas lights and families were walking around singing, dancing and in a general state of excitement. Party buses and flatbeds full of people dancing and honking horns with Santa hats and neon sticks banging the sides of the vehicles.

I had decided to make one last attempt at finding this club that was supposed to start at 9:30. I asked a couple walking up towards where I thought it was and they had confirmed it was just a block up. I realized that it was just a plain building with graffiti that said “Casa 33” and I had walked by it several times earlier. I sat outside and noticed a few people coming up but no one was being let in. The crowd started building outside and I realized this wasn’t really the place for me. I decided to do the much more wholesome and simple thing and headed back to the festival. There were so many Christmas lights. I had heard during the weeks leading up to Christmas, Colombian cities tend to compete over displays. I look forward to Medellin, I hear they win every year.

I hung out till about 11pm and then took a taxi back to the hotel. I haven’t slept well over the last few days since I’ve had a cold that started on Wednesday. I thought it would be a good idea to retire early, take some Sudafed pm and sleep till my body wakes up. I got up around 11am this morning and took a walk around La Candelaria which is the old colonial area of Bogota. The temperature here is trying to defeat me by going from 40’s to 70’s in a matter of hours. You’d think I’d be used to this living in Florida during the winter where it fluctuates daily. Being the high altitude from the mountains (Bogota is the 3rd highest capital in South America behind Quito and La Paz) the temperature can get very warm during the afternoon and downright cold at night. I slept well though.

I’m at my hostel right now in the courtyard listening to music and drinking Poker, Colombia’s most popular beer. I’m attempting to follow the Bucs game on NFL Gamecast but it is looking pretty brutal for them right now so I decided to write. Pics will come soon and more updates of course.

Oh by the way, lunch today… 2 empanadas, 1 coke and a beer was $3.50.

Until then, hasta luego!