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Bogota, Colombia – Capital, Friends, And Inspiration

by on February 16, 2012

in Colombia, Happy Nomad Tour, Latin America

Bogota Scene

Bogota Scene

Bogota was a bit of a city of surprises for me.

Everyone warned me that the weather was horrible. Given its altitude, the temperature rarely gets over 20C/68F. But while I was there it was warm and sunny and it didn’t rain. Apparently the days before I arrived were full of torrential downpours.

In Bogota I was visiting a friend of mine from my MBA in Spain. It was nice to see him after more than two years. He organized my stay in Cucuta with his dad and just generally went out of his way to make my stay in Colombia very comfortable.

It is very important to him that I say this, so Justo, you were my best host. In reality, that’s easy to say since all my hosts on The Happy Nomad Tour have been my best hosts :) But in all seriousness, a big thank you to Justo and his whole family for helping me out and being so awesome. Gracias desde el fondo de mi corazon!

Me And Justo In Bogota

Me And Justo In Bogota

Spanish Embassy In Colombia

Spanish Embassy In Colombia

One other random thing.. I met Justo in Spain, and it was a fun coincidence when I arrived and saw that the Spanish Embassy is on the corner of his street, literally a 60-second walk from where he lives!

I arrived in Bogota on a Saturday and we didn’t do much that day. We did meet up with another person from my MBA program that I didn’t know previously. It was great to meet him and after my experience with Luis in Venezuela and Ana Maria in Medellin I am starting to wonder if I should just try and visit all the people from my MBA I didn’t know since everyone has been so great!

Mini-IE Reunion

Mini-IE Reunion

Biking In Bogota

Biking In Bogota

On Sundays in many Colombian cities they shut down some streets or some lanes so that people can walk, run, and cycle throughout the city. So Justo and I cycled throughout Bogota for 2-3 hours. It was great exercise, the weather was perfect, and it was the first time I had explored a city by bike before. Awesome!

My camera didn’t work though. Somehow the battery discharged and I was unable to take any pictures. But above is a picture taken by Justo in Plaza Bolivar!

Later that day we went to a famous restaurant called Andres Carne de Res. It’s a restaurant with character. Below you can see what they do when someone has a birthday and then just a random procession of employees dressed in Asian costumes.

My Mouth-Burning Michelada

My Mouth-Burning Michelada

While at Andres Carne de Res I had my first Michelada since Xela, Guatemala. I had high hopes, but I was inevitably disappointed. They brought the bottle of beer, worchestor sauce, Tabasco sauce, lemons, and a cup adorned with salt and full of ice. Where was the tomato sauce?

Me And Justo At Andres Carne de Res

Me And Justo At Andres Carne de Res

I proceeded to make my own Michelada.. minus tomato sauce, and of course I put in way too much tobacco sauce. I have never found Tobasco sauce particularly hot, but I can confirm that in mass quantities it’ll burn your mouth.

It took a while, but I drank the whole thing. And I think I’ll wait until I’m back in Mexico to have another one.. :)

The next day I was to meet Andres at Niños por un Nuevo Planeta (Children for a New Planet), a great opportunity set up by Justo for me. But it turned out that Andres wasn’t going to be in. It’s a good thing Justo called him the day before to confirm.

So instead, I did some sightseeing. I revisited many of the same places I had visited the day before by bike. Below you can see some of Bogota’s sights.

Bull Fighting Rink

Bull Fighting Rink

Colombian Whitehouse

Colombian Whitehouse

Colonial Bogota

Colonial Bogota

National Library

National Library

National Park

National Park

Old City Hall

Old City Hall

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Transmilenio Metro System

Transmilenio Metro System

On Tuesday I had a conference by Skype with a class studying Corporate Social Responsibility at my alma matter IE Business School. I actually took the same class two years ago, so it’s funny how things work sometimes. Then I had a coaching session with a client, and then I met Kenji in Ciudad Bolivar. Days as awesome as this should be illegal.

On Wednesday I left for the Manizales, which is in the Zona Cafetera (Coffee Zone).

Ajiaco Soup And Guava Juice

Ajiaco Soup And Guava Juice

I definitely had a great time in Bogota. All big cities seem to leave me disillusioned now, but I had a lot of fun and had some great experiences in Bogota. Whether having breakfast with my friend’s mom in the morning, having two guava pastries in one day accompanied by Colombian coffee, or meeting Kenji, I had lots of fun and enlightening experiences in Bogota.

Thanks For The Great Time, Bogota!

Thanks For The Great Time, Bogota!

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

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