I am in Bogota, which is the start of my 3 week adventure in Colobmia. The capital of Bogota is much more cosmopolitan than i expected. Of course, there´s nothing like seeing a city than from the eyes of a local. L.R. who moved here in September has shown me around her favorite spots, allowing me to see places and meet locals that I would have never come across if I was staying at a hostel.
I have been in Bogota for less than 48 hours and I have slept less than 10 of those hours. I started off my Colombian experience going to a house party at midnight. Many people at the party went to the American school, so I was surprised how much English was spoken. I did tap into my rusty Spanish with the taxi driver, Nelson, who drove me from the airport to Lacey´s house. Nelson, who barely reached 5 foot, kindly offered to be my local guide for the weekend since I did not have an esposo or novio, but I politely declined and went with the nearly six foot blonde local tour guide. Lacey´s Spanish rocks and she has built such an amazing network of friends, who are completely awesome and have taken me in. I wish I had more time to meet them all!
Saturday day consisted of waking up to a view of the beautiful Andes mountains from Lacey´s apartment, aimless wandering through the old streets in La Candaleria - the historic part of Bogota -eating tamales and hot chocolate, meeting Lacey´s friend Cherry at Bogota´s version of Central park, riding buses and taxis through the largely spread out city and having my first Colombian mall experience, which seemed like the hot weekend hangout spot.
In the evening, Lacey and I prepared ourselves with an hour power nap and 2 Red Bulls and got a driver to take us to a restaurant-bar-bailadero, Andres Crnen de Res, which is an hour drive from Bogota. People normally go with groups and make it an event of over-priced food and drinks and late night dancing. Lacey and I brought back our college days and hid a bottle of vodka in a water bottle and spiked our fresh juices at the bar as people slowly finished their 10pm dinners and made their way to the dancefloor. Let´s just say by the end of the night, Lacey and I had made friends, were dancing in the aisles, and were drinking Aguardiente straight from the bottle - Colombian style.
We cured our hangover with Colombia brunch - you have to love a country that includes fresh squeezed juice and hot chocolate with their brunch. We then walked off this pile of food - bajamos el desayuno- along the main road that they close off on Sundays to bikers, runners and hung-over walkers, like ourselves.
NEXT STOP: Cartagena! I will be staying with Lacey´s friend Tanita who I took out when she visited New York and she stayed out in the bars later than me. This could be trouble - although it will be a Monday and Tuesday night, so we shall see.....