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Week 249 – Lima and Bogota

A quick business trip to Lima and due to the flight timing, I had a overnight layover in Bogota on the way back. I got to hotel at 2am in Lima on the way out with meetings the following 2 days and leaving Lima at 5pm to Bogota. While in Lima I did get out for a couple of hours for dinner and retraced the same route we did in 2012 in Miraflores area of Lima on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Odd to be looking at the sun setting over the Pacific East of Washington DC. I then walked into the City and to various narrow streets with restaurants before taking the Uber back. I had 3 Uber incidents – none the drivers fault and still better than taxis. And if I could text faster in Spanish could have solved two of the problems faster.

From Miraflores, it is a short walk up a valley to the City where there are many restaurants and people out – very safe.

From meeting location in Lima – not bad view. Much of Miraflores is upscale with business, condos, and government buildings

For Bogota, I arrived at 8pm and left at 7am the following morning. With the tight timeframe and security issues I arranged a tour. Even though Colombia is safer over the past couple of years (now same STEP rating as Mexico City), I was being cautious. Ended up being the right move as everywhere my guide took me was safe – but they also pointed out streets not to go down (pickpocketing in these areas of town, not violent crime or kidnapping). Plan was to go to Monserrate which overlooked the city at 10,000 ft (Bogota is at 8,600 ft) and then to La Candelaria which is the city’s historic neighborhood from the 1500’s. My guide explained along the way that Colombia has improved dramatically in the past two years and that previously they had never traveled outside of Bogota for fear of crime. 

So we arrived at Monserrate about 10 minutes after a million other people arrive with their families and waiting in line for the ski lift to the top. Since we were limited on time we skipped going to the top and proceeded to La Candelaria. The top attraction there is the Gold Museum as the mythical city of El Dorado is nearby but it was closed. We went to Bolívar Square first which has the Congress, the Cathedral, the Palace, and the Supreme Court. Except for the Supreme Court, everything from the 1800’s or earlier.

We then skipped the other famous square as it was sketchy at night and headed to a series of restaurants and street art on Calle del Embudom. The safety has improved as it would not have been safe to walk here 2 years ago and now families are here at night.

Link https://www.pirancafe.com/2016/01/08/bogota-street-art-mural-of-a-wayuu-by-carlos-trilleras/

Leaving at 5am the next morning, stood in line for a couple of hours at immigration and had 15 minutes to make my flight (and a 30 minute walk) and started to jog and my hip locked up. Between the pain and being out of shape at 8,600 ft, I ended up using my rolling suitcase like a walker…luckily flight left late and I made it.

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