Everyone should one day take a mountain bus driven by an allergic-to-life Colombian. It is true maniacal pleasure. Once you get nauseated the sensation doesn’t go away; doesn’t matter if you stop reading, stare at the horizon, take deep breaths, etc. The travel gods don’t even care if you still have eight more hours to go—they will not hear your pleas. Tia and I learned this on our ear-popping trip with Bolivariana from Manizales to Bogotá. To top it off we spent an hour at the side of the road watching tractor trailers try to extract themselves from each other like two very confused elephants mating. Is it possible to put a bus company on the list of state-sponsored, terrorist organizations?
Compared to its South American contemporaries, Bogotá itself had a lot of artsy character. Think Jackson Pollack dripping paint in front of a stolid audience of pencil-wielding automatons. Aside from the scarf-wrapped, rocker jean-toting hipsters that dotted the brick laid sidewalks, our hostel in La Candelaria abutted a street that had various statues on the rooftops, one fishing with a squash on his line, another looked likely to jump. Wandering down Carretera 7
Sadly, it rained down on us the entire four days we spent there and Tia was horribly afflicted by altitude sickness. As such it won’t make our list of cities to live in one day, but not a bad place for a visitazo!
Oh, and most importantly, we found Duff beer (sí existe!).