Colombia: Bogotá

One of the few things that I knew about Bogotá before this trip (other than that it is in Colombia and is pretty high), was that they shut some streets to motorised traffic every sunday. Despite this knowledge, it was a fantastic thing to see done, and an example to other cities
In the city centre, and at strategic points throughout the Bogotá cycle route network, enterprising bike mechanics set up their wares
We've been using the city's extensive cycle network to get around over the last few days. Some parts are a bit hit and miss. Others, like this one, take centre-stage in broad boulevards.
Having heard more about Bogotá from other cyclists who've been through recently, we visited the Museo Oro (gold museum). This collection of mostly pre-conquistador artefacts is said to be the biggest in south america.
Some of the halls are more multimedia art installations than factual, with this being part of a display meant to evoke the place of shamanistic rituals in pre-conquest life

We had to admit it…. We were waiting on mail again. We’d rebuilt the bikes after their flight from Panamá and sorted out a few things (a new chain and new gear shifters for tom). Sarah got new glasses as there’s only so much you can do with superglue and electrical tape. But it was difficult not to get frustrated as we were getting increasingly excited about our planned route through to Ecuador. We’d been very lucky to have some very patient warmshowers/casa de ciclistas hosts in Claudio and Angélica. 2 French cycle tourists arrived after we did, having spent 6 months working their way up from Tierra del Fuego. It was great to see where they’d been and have some tips on places to go – lots of inspiration to reinvigorate our journey. The flight and continued limbo in Bogotá while we waited have almost lead to us feeling as if we’re starting a new trip. 1st August marked a year since we left Australia and the 9th, a year since we started cycling, all clean and innocent behind the Banff Springs Hotel in Canada.

More gold...
Even more gold!
Making use of the, as then, unknown duration of our stay in Bogotá. Sarah resorts to studying her spanish cards having got the food bags as organised as they could ever be. Labelled and all!

Then it all came together :-) The rim arrived, so I spent an afternoon carefully swapping it into the wheel, so that all we needed to do was ask the mechanic to do was true it (tighten all the spokes up properly). The following day, when we were thinking about getting going anyway and bussing back to Bogota when/if the other parcel arrived, it did. Even more happiness ensued, as we felt released from our doubts and uncertainties.

Nearly 2 weeks in Bogotá has meant that I’ve been able to write a healthy chunk of an academic book chapter I’ve been asked to do, and made some meaningful progress on my ongoing articles. We had our ups and downs living in a household exclusively speaking spanish, but know that we wouldn’t have coped at all less than a year ago. Our ups are fantastic – nice fluid spanish conversation, and chatting properly. Our downs are less good, with halting, effortful sentences and too much work to say more than simple things.


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