Long journey. Just getting settled.

Bogota Travel Blog

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First concert in Bogota with new friends.

I can say one thing... It feels so nice to actually stop living out of my backpack. Eight months on traveling, few showers if there were showers they were cold. Holes in the ground for toilets, overnight buses. Going to a new place almost everyday. Eight months and what a ride that has been.

I will say that I never thought I would make such a journey. I learned so much - about myself and only a little about the countries I visited. I think traveling has reinforced a couple of things.

One, we are all the same. We speak different languages, live different lifestyles, have different cultures, but I would have to say that there is one thread that ties everyone and everyplace together.... The drive to survive and obtain. Because of this insatiable desire to acquire that has virtually seen the end of almost every culture based on communitarian lifestyle and free from a monetary system that makes slaves out of everyone, every city in every country is exactly the same.

... Trying to live, sell, gain and obtain......

Two, as much as I travel, I will know and understand the most minuscule dynamic of each country I visit. There is so much history that makes the people who they are - they don't even understand it. I learned that it would take a lifetime to understand one person in one pueblo. This is overwhelming especially for a traveler.. But, it is also extremely exciting. No matter how many countries I see and experience, there is always so much more to understand and see. A world beyond worlds... An understanding that will probably keep me driven for the rest of my life.

Three, I hate to admit it, but I have come to see how very intense language and cultural differences can be in communication and relationships. I have always preferred relationships with people from other countries, but I will have to admit that although the same culture as my own is not ideal, I will have to say that the same language is virtually fundamental.

One of the visits to the urban ag project in Usme. Saw some amazing work of people who are striving to live off the little land they have and the bit of rooftops they have
There is so much culture, local understanding, history in a language that language barriers are critical to relationships. People of the same language have insane issues regarding lack of communication and misunderstanding. We will never understand someone from a different country. In political relations, business dealings, personal relationships across language and cultural barriers is like trying to ice skate on a lake lightly topped with frost. The base of war and hatred of others in not understanding. How can we even hope to overcome this?

Well, there is still so much to learn.... I am now in Bogota. I have moved into my new room a couple of days ago. Amazing the difference of having one place to return to, the same bed to sleep on... Wonderful. Never thought how nice it would be to settle down for a bit- especially in light of my love of traveling.... I have secured a job, but think I want to keep looking. I know I'll find something soon.

The journey back up from Rosario was by far the most grueling experience. A total of nearly seven days on buses. I did stop in Mancora for four days to take a break. I traveled up from Rosario, Argentina to Mancora, Peru in four days. I was really wanting to see how I could make the trip straight, but on my way up to the border of Peru and Ecuador, I noticed that my legs were swollen twice there normal size. Four days sitting in a bus with only an occasional stop to transfer buses and go to the toilet took a toll on me. But, glad I made that stop. Relaxing on the beach for a couple of days was much needed. A friend told me once that you have to stay in a country until you like it. At first, I hated Peru. But I came to love three main places: Mancora, the beach town near the Ecuadorian border, Ollaytantambo near Cuzco - the most beautiful must see place and Arequipa a city I fell in love with and could easily have lived in.

After four days in Mancora, I journeyed straight to Bogota which took about 2 1/2 days. I had decided to go overland from Rosario because of the price of flights and I also want to do as much overland travel as I can. The flight from Buenos Aires to Bogota would have cost more than $700 one way.

For anyone wanting to make that same trek, below is a breakdown of cost and time...... What a ride...

From Rosario to Bogota it cost approximately $200.50. Remember guys, I bargain hard, take as much small buses and collectivos as possible. I travel cheap. It can be done, but very uncomfortable.

It took 147 hours to travel from Rosario to Bogota. This does not include the time I stopped in Mancora. It takes approximately 6 1/2 days to make the trip straight.

Below is the route that was taken:

Rosario crossing the Bolivian border at from La Quiaca, Argentina and Villazon, Bolivia. Villazon straight up to La Paz. A bus from La Paz to Desguardero border crossing with Peru. From there, I went to Arequipa, then to Lima.. Quicker and cheaper that way. From Lima to Piura and then to Mancora. I crossed the very strange and sketchy border crossing at Hauquilles between Peru and Ecuador along the coast. I don´t suggest you do this. It is better to cross via Macara, then up through Loja. It may take a little longer, but the border crossing is so much safer and straight forward. If you do go through Tumbes, it is best if you take a bus directly to the border that will stop off at immigration. Tumbes and Hauquilles is very sketchy and the distance between immigration on the Peruvian side and Ecuadorian side is lengthy and you will have to change cabs a couple of times. Very unsafe. Met a German guy who had all his stuff stolen as the cab drove off with his stuff. Wasn´t sure if he was telling the truth or not as he as asking help pay for bus fair to Quito.... Still, everyone was telling me not to cross by myself. Got ripped off from the bus fair from Mancora to Quito. Buses are much cheaper on the other side of the border of Ecuador. Save yourself the hassle and don´t cross here. From there I got a bus direct to Quito. From Quito to the border town of Tulcan to Ipiales, Colombia. From there a bus directly to Cali and the straight to Bogota.

If you ever decide to do this.... Good luck!

I am now in Bogota, embarking on a different part of the journey. Urban Agriculture is the main reason I'm here. I've got ideas... I wait to see how they all pan out. Will be teaching English - have yet to land a job. Will be starting Spanish studies as soon as I can get settled in and of course there is always salsa. Unfortunately, it is not as big here as in Cali, but I have yet to get into the salsa scene.

Until next time.

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First concert in Bogota with new f…
First concert in Bogota with new …
One of the visits to the urban ag …
One of the visits to the urban ag…
photo by: caliphil007