My latest working theory for getting so sick is the altitude in Bogota exacerbated whatever knocked me into bed for 3 days. Bogota is between 8500 and 9500 feet up, making it the highest city I’ve been to. In any case I woke up this morning feeling about 75% better and decided to pack as much into my last half day as I could.
Not feels better than realizing you feel better.
I learned when I arrived that Google’s understanding of the high speed bus system in Bogota, the TransMilenio, was pretty much entirely bunk. So I had to trip plan using actually maps and route guides and pens and papers. I’d been using Uber up to now but for a transit nerd Uber really feels like kissing your sister, sure it gets you where you need to be but you just don’t feel quite right about it.
The high speed bus system, in one easy to read layout…. sure
I bused downtown and the walked to a local historic breakfast place for the Colombian version of tamales. Everything was awesome but yet again the latin American concept of customer service was loud and clear. For a Canadian it really does feel like they hope you choke and die on their lovely food.
I wandered aimlessly after breakfast eventually getting back to the TransMilenio bus and riding another hour south to the main favela, as this is where the new gondola transit line is, similar to Mexico City just scaled down quite a bit.
I rode to the very top station and wandered around a very different version of Bogota than I’d seen before. Eventually I got a lemonade (here this seems to mean lime, sugar and coconut water) and sat on a curb for half an hour, just watching the neighborhood rotate. As in Mexico City I felt perfectly safe and unthreatened. Some kids were eyeing me up so I ordered a few more lemonades for them and some chips for us to toss to the street dogs. I cannot express my joy.
I’ve found the people here more outgoing and less hesitant than a lot of people in Mexico, twice during this excursion women came up and started conversations, asking lots of questions, I don’t think this has ever happened to me in Mexico.
One of the women asked if we could share a gondola on the way down, immediately my spidey sense started looking for risk or scam potential but it was pretty clear she was just enjoying talking.
We talked until we got down the cable line and took our separate buses. She gave me a suggestion for lunch so I made my way that direction.
After lunch I started heading back north to where I’m staying to start packing up, I need to be at the airport around 6pm.