Bogota and Before

Nice weather in the city folks always say is cold and rainy. The paisa (locals) in Medellin are hard on this place but it is working for us. On Sundays they close a major street and open it to pedestrians, runners and cyclists. All morning and into early afternoon come the crowds of bikers and runners, kids, grandmothers, and everyone out for fresh air. Instead of feeling crowded, it is more like sharing and enjoying. We did three hours with only one sideswipe from a kid. Of course, we stopped for coffee. We bought some last week after watching our guides ask many questions. Most packages here have a “sniff and savor” patch which folks take seriously. Coffee culture is big and growing and is a big part off an expanding tourism.

We have found the mountains and canyons which attracted us to explore Colombia. The landscape and views are lovely but we pay our dues by miles on hard roads. After some miles each town and city draws us into its central plaza, now lit up for Navidad, and we sip on fruit drinks or coco lemonade or Club Colombia, the local cervesa. Pizza is good here and all the fast food places have a presence in the cities. Local Colombian fare is fine but we miss good bread and eat their croissant instead of arepa.

Colombia has their high desert which is scrub and hardly impressive to our spoiled Sedona eyes. A lasting impression are flowers we cannot name in glorious profusion and a good variety of vegetation and trees. Motor scooters weave in and out of fast traffic and cafes are full often. Still, life in the village is pretty slow and can be primitive. We have always to use our halting Spanish and we are received ever so nicely. Stranded at the Bogota airport in pouring rain, a kind man made a call for us and pointed us toward the right transfer.

We have missed the late night salsa scene which our Cali guides claim is best in their city. One of the disadvantages of being silver-haired in the land of long hair. What do curly-haired people do here?