The Dry Weekend

Bogota Travel Blog

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For Latin American elections the governments enforce a "dry" period where no one can consume alcohol for the duration of the elections.  This apparently applies to everyone.  Unless of course you are staying at Musicology and the elections happen to be in Bogota.  So when the clock struck 5.30pm on Friday 12th March several members of the hostel could be found in a local drinking establishment consuming the local tipple, Aguardiente, which is a little like Sambuca.  So you can imagine that a bottle of the stuff makes you feel rather warm inside.

It continued from there and pretty much lasted all weekend.  The Friday night was spent propping up Linas bar in Musicology drinking shots of Aguardiente mixed with beer.  No wonder when one of the guys picked up his guitar to sing Wild Thing we all joined in quite readily!  Saturday night was no less dry, we managed to find a local house party where again the dry law didnt quite stretch too. 

In between the "dry" spells i did manage to see something of the city and the elections once the delicious Musicology pancakes worked their magic. Alongside some friends from the hostel we took the long walk from the Candelaria through to the Technology museum.  Bogota is a strange city, full of character and history in the Candelaria and a real industrial and residential kind of place between there and the Zona Rosa which is the new rich area full of sky scrapers and frankly, lots of cash.  I like it though.  The technology museum was a mixture between the science museum in London and a Spanish lesson.  Rather entertaining but even more so because we hardly had any idea what the signs said so we made it up.  The highlight was stepping into a metal cage with 15 other people, hearing the doors slam and only then hearing the instructions ...

1.  If you´re tall bend down
2.  Don´t touch anyone
3.  Don´t touch the metal
4.  Leave all metal objects outside the cage

Brilliant all round for tall gringos then!  I for one was rather glad when the electrical volt that was meant to hit and charge the cage never happened!

The following day i managed to haul myself to the Police Museum (free!) and take a really interesting one hour tour looking at the work of Pablo Escobar (an entire basement dedicated to him ... although this is not a shrine to his work so they say) and the Medellin cartel and various firearms the police have collected including a James Bond style pen gun.  Sadly they don´t let you try them out. 

I also managed to sign myself up for some cycling around Bogota.  For $45,000 COP you can rent a bike and cycle around the city with a guide for 5 hours.  For those of you yet to get to Bogota, the hills and traffic are INSANE!  A great way to see the city though and we cycled through the Candelaria from the founding square all the way to the central park via Simon Bolivar house and the university where no police are allowed.  It really did show us the best of the city and was a great way to work off the night before.  Although it did make things a little more unsteady!

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Bogota
photo by: caliphil007