Bogota Travel Blog

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Statues at San Augustin

Well after a quiet night in Madrid we headed to Bogota the capital of Columbia, the flight was 11 hours but wasn´t too bad except for the entertainment was all in Spanish, something I´m getting use to. We arrived and made it thru immigartion and customs intact. Grabbed a taxi to our hostal. We made it round the corner for a feed but that was about all that day.

The next we were up and about early cos of the time difference. We went for a look round town. Saw the Palace and the churches. Went to the Botera Museum, for those of you who don´t know he´s the one that paints all the fat people, pretty cool actually. There were also some Picasso and Rembrandt´s in there among others. We went on to the gold museum which displayed all the peices that have been found round Columbia.

More statues at San Augustin
Also saw an interesting betting game where you place money on which one of fifteen containers a Guinea Pig will run too when told too?? Of course we found a couple of bars on the way back to the hostal but was an early one again.

The next day we did our first long bus trip, 10 1/2 hours to Cali, some interesting scenery and lots of military on the roads, but rather uneventful. We got to Cali quite late but went and got a feed and headed to bed. The next day we realised there´s not a lot to do in Cali so we headed thru the markets and headed to a bar. Had a late lunch, our first experience of real local delicacy, yip there was chicken feet in our soup, we all tried it but must say we saved ourselves for the main course. We went on to a few more bars and found they also put salt on the top of beer glasses, mmm salty. Went some salsatechs, basically a disco but the salsa. We met a group of locals who we managed somehow to communicate with. I timed my toilet stop to perfection and managed to get back to see the other three up on the dance floor, haha.

The next day was off to Popayan, another decent bus journey but nothing to report. Got to Popayan and headed to the Hostal, was pretty much brand new and a young Scottish couple was running it so we got as much information as we could off them before heading out for dinner and back to bed ready for another journey.

We headed to Tierradento to see some tombs. Now this bus ride was interesting, we had the obligatory chicken on the bus and we got got stopped and searched by the Army. But we made it there and went for a walk round the tombs. Was really cool, they had spiral stair cases down to them and had some pretty cool paintings in them. They´re not sure how old they are but apparently before the Spanish arrived. The walk ended up being over 2 hours long and quite steep, good practise for the inca trail. We stopped for a beer at the local village and sat amongst the locals outside the local store, feeling a little out of place but was neat.

We then headed for San Augustin, now this was fun.....well kind of. The first 40min were spent hanging on the back of a ute. OK so it´s a double cab and has a covered area with seats on the back, but Hamish, Muss and I were standing on the bumper hanging on with five others!! At one stage there were 26 people and 2 babies on or in the ute, OSH would love this place! And the road lets say raging rivers and cliffs. But after a couple of changes we got where we wanted.

San Agustin is famous for it´s statues once again dating back to before the Spanish arrived. So we went on tour to see the sights including some waterfalls, also on the tour were an Aus/Kiwi couple from Sydney and a travel writer from USA who we took as much info as we could from over a few beers later that night. The statues were OK and the water falls pretty impressive the highest being 400m.

The next day we headed back to Popayan over quite possibly the worst road ever, no chance of reading a book even and my MP3 player ran out of battery aghhhh! We stopped at Coconuco for a dip in the hot springs which was magic, specially as once we got of the bus it hosed down. Another night spent in Poyan before heading to the border the next day. At the border we went and saw Santuario De Las Lajas, a church bulit in a gorge where the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared. The rock she appeared on is behind the alter. Quite an amazing church. From there it was across the border into Ecuador.....

In all the Columbians were real frindly and we got a lot of help from people who could see we were struggling. There seems to be nothing of the trouble you read about and is seems safe as long as you´re smaert. Our Spanish is coming along but not that quickly...... but we´re managing to get across our message.

Don´t read any other entries for Columbia they´re just for the map.

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Statues at San Augustin
Statues at San Augustin
More statues at San Augustin
More statues at San Augustin
photo by: caliphil007