Why can’t they just give you the realistic travel time for busses? Every time it takes 1-2 hours longer than announced and this just has a negative effect. We just say “We get there when we get there”.
When we finally reached Bogotá, we explored a bit the Candelaria area with its old town. The Carrera 7 is completely closed for pedestrians and bikers. Masses of people strolled around the little stalls with world cup accessories – flags, Team-Jersey, footballs, etc. – and enjoying the street artists.
At the Santander Park my shoes got a new color after a cleaning job and we smiled at the Colombian style of a telephone booth. A couple of mobiles attached to a portable wooden stick where you can call for Peso 750 per minute. At the tourist office they gave us the map and marked us the save area of Bogotá. Guess what, just 5 % of the city is supposed to be safe.
And this is what we actually found out the next day. In the so called safe zone of Candelaria we got robbed. Strange thing was when this man approached us we just knew what was coming. The man grabbed my hand and hold a knife in front of my face. I saw the tripod coming. Michael got the guy but at the same time two more man pulled him back.
While Michael tried to get rid of his attackers, the man with the knife grabbed me again. A passenger bus passed us and the bus stopped at the corner where they called the police. Everything was so fast and at the same time strangely in slow motion. While I passed slowly the asked item to the man, I saw the police officer running towards us. All three went off and even with the police car we couldn’t find the attackers.
What an irony getting robbed between a police station and a stationed police officer. But we were lucky so we didn’t want to go back to the hostel. Pumped with adrenaline we drove up with the teléferico, the cable car, to the El Santuario de Monserrate. This church lies on top of the mountain where you get a spectacular view over the city. So we appreciated also the night skyline.
The next morning we went to the police station to file our report. Afterwards we took a bus to Zipaquirá. This town became famous for its salt mines. But not the mine itself it was, we took an interest in, the real attractions are the Stations of the Cross and the big cathedral with the eerie light deep into the mine. What a remarkable experience.
It was time to go on. Our flight will bring us to Leticia, a town situated in the Amazonas. Here three countries come together – Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
Accommodation: Hostal Aventureros De La Candelaria, Carrera 3 # 12C -8, Bogotá
Price: COP 45 000 private room, own toilet, shared bathroom, WiFi, kitchen, incl. intercontinal
Comment: Colombian run, more Latin American customers – great for practicing your Spanish. In the
Candelaria center, quiet, the bathrooms could be a bit cleaner.