The night before the departure we looked at the weather forecast for Colombia- heavy rains all week long! Great! As our flight to Colombia was via Chile, we called the airline to change our flights as we thought about going to Santiago de Chile for a week (=good weather). Unfortunately, after having wasted half a day on the phone and another our at the airport trying to change our tickets, we were unsuccessful and boarded the plane to Colombia. Just an info for people who are planning to fly from Rio de Janeiro by using LATAM- don't trust their boarding time! According to the ticket. boarding closed 2 hours prior to the flight and although we double checked at the airport with the airline, boarding started only 30 min prior- so we wasted 1,5hrs of our day just waiting instead of seeing the city!
By the way, we found out soon enough that not only boarding times, but also the weather forecasts are rubbish in South America! We had drizzle once in a while but the weather gods have been nice to us so far! Good that we came straight away after all.
Bogota- no rest for the wicked
After a very long flight with stopover in Santiago de Chile, we finally arrived in Bogota at 6am! We decided to explore the city straight away, but not before having breakfast. So while walking around the old city center, we passed a lot of military (for European standards) and blamed it on the current peace negotiations that failed just a week ago between the Government and the biggest rebel group called the FARC in Colombia. We found out that this could have been one reason. The real reason however was because we got 'lost' on our way to find a breakfast and ended up at the presidential palace instead...When they asked 'what are you looking for !?' I naively said 'a place to have breakfast':)
I guess they believed us and gave us some recommendations, and we had a little chat with them and then left.
For breakfast we had the dish with the strangest description on the menu in order to try something new. Changua- a milk soup with bread and cheese in it and agua de Panela- which is basically hot water with sugar cane paste.
On the same day, we signed up for a 6 hour bike ride through the old city center called the Candelaria, as well as other parts of the city, both rich and poor. The tour is very affordable and recommendable with only 35.000 Pesos each, an equivalent of 10 Euros ( for a 6 hours guided tour!). A Colombian coffee manufacturing, the local fruit market, the red light district as well as a Colombian game called Tejo was on the agenda. Tejo consists of a pile of mud, envelopes with gun powder and a big metal disc to throw at the envelopes which are put on the pile of mud. Very interesting and loud game and despite the fact that we were told that accidents don't happen, I find it hard to believe, especially as people tend to drink while playing.
Another must see location is the Montserrat tower with it's church and the best view of the city as well as the Catedral del Sal in a village 1,5 hrs outside of Bogota in a city called Zipa. The latter one is totally worth the ride!