This post is for the few days we spent in Bogota. There isnt too many pics though.
19 March 2017
C – Today, we were heading to Bogota to meet up with a fellow traveller, Dave, and hopefully get Rosie’s electrical problems sorted.
After a yummo breakfast of soup, eggs, bread and coffee, we hit the road to tackle the 47km into Bogota. Dave had mentioned it could take one and half hours, but that the traffic should be ok. I was a little worried about the traffic after our experience in Medellin, but I need not have been. Being a Sunday morning, the traffic was relatively quiet and sedate and we made pretty good time.
When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Dave and his beautiful mother. After settling in, we devoured a lovely lunch and then set out with Dave for coffee and an explore of a Sunday craft market.
T – Dave and his mum, who I am also calling Mum, are such lovely people and we are so lucky to be here with them.
C – After eating too much cake and drinking too much coffee, we retired to Dave’s place where we proceeded to solve the future problems of the world before collapsing into bed, still full on cake and coffee!
Tomorrow is a holiday here, so we won’t be taking Rosie into the mechanic until Tuesday, so we will do some relaxing and exploring.
20 March 2017
C – Well, we have spent some wonderful exploring the city of Bogota and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Dave and his beautiful mother.
Today is a public holiday here, so we will have to wait until tomorrow to get Rosie to the doctor. Instead, we ventured up to Monserrate, a church high up on a hill above Bogota. We caught the ‘funicular’ up to the top, which was amazingly steep! Sitting at a height of 3150mtrs, the air was definitely cooler and us three sea level bunnies were soon puffing away, climbing up the steps. We knew that coca tea was said to be helpful for altitude, so it wasn’t too long before we found a vendor and were sipping on the sweet, delicious tea. Interestingly, all three of us felt that it was much easier to breathe after the tea.
Dave shared some history of the area with us, and it was interesting to hear that the church directly across the next hill was frequented by Pablo Escobar and his crew. Colombia has such a fascinating (albeit dark at times) history.
After descending from the mountain, we wandered through the old city and visited the birthplace of Bogota – a small plaza where it is rumoured that the city founders sat around discussing the development and governing policies of the city to be.
After wandering further to Bogota’s main plaza (Plaza de Bolivar), we went past the parliamentary building and then took a sneak peak at the Presidents residence. After taking us unsuspecting tourists down Bogota’s ‘most dangerous street’, Dave took us to a craft brewery where we celebrated our one year on the road anniversary with some fantastic local beers!
21 March 2017
C – After a loooong sleep in, we awoke to yet more magnificent smells coming from Madre’s kitchen. As dutiful guests, we devoured a delicious breakfast before heading out with Dave to visit Bogota’s ‘motorcycle alley’.
We jumped on the bus and headed into a much grungier looking suburb – there seemed to be more rubbish and more faeces on the sidewalk and it didn’t take long before we started to spot prostitution.
We rounded a corner and boom – there it was! The most amazing amount of motorcycle accessory stores I have ever seen. There were bikes everywhere! We hunted for some warm, waterproof gloves for our journey into the Andes and then we, and by we I mean Dave and Todd, started scouring for LED lights. After buying numerous un-needed items and meandering through tons of stores, it was time to head back and take Rosie to the mechanic.
T – It was bike bling heaven! I could have bought so many things for Mabel here and it took all my strength to not buy a set of blue and white police LEDs for my bike. Maybe when we come back here. Every item you could want for your bike was here. It was incredible!
C – The guys at the mechanics were all lovely and we learned that they all have day jobs, and then open the shop in the afternoon, sometimes working through past midnight! I definitely felt that Rosie was in good hands.
Dave took us to a wonderful little hotdog and burger joint near his place for dinner and Todd enjoyed the most monstrous hotdog I have ever seen! I had a burger which was pretty damn good too.
As we were eating dinner, the mechanics sent Dave through some pics, showing us the inside of Rosie’s stator. What was once copper is now black… so tomorrows plan is to find a new stator, or new parts for the stator, and take it back to the mechanic fit tomorrow evening. Hopefully, Rosie will be as good as new and we will once again have our heated grips to get us through the Patagonian winter!
22 March 2017
T – I do apologise for the lack of photos. Dave who has been our chaperone has advised us against taking the camera out to the places we have been going. And when a local says don’t, we don’t. We have been in some of the rougher spots of Bogota, and it really has shown. Rubbish piled high in the streets, and shady characters lurking about everywhere. One of these shady areas is where the motorcycle stuff is and today we went back there.
We needed to find a stator part for Rosie. We knew we would find one but it required us to go to several shops. Eventually we found two stators. One was a 6 pole stator but no fly wheel and we hoped Rosies old flywheel would fit. We also found the parts to fix her old stator. Woohoo. Total cost for both stators was about $30.
Then we went on the hunt for some LED globes to replace ours. We found good quality tail lights, that flashed brightly when braking, super bright headlight globes that only drew 6w vs the 35w of the old ones and we also had a pile of custom stickers made for us. We were missing a few flags from central america. We ended up getting 30 stickers between the 3 of us at a cost of 40 cents each. Bonus!
As we were walking towards the exit Dave suggested we get into a nearby shop for a few minutes. Which was a handy stop as Chantelle and I found some new wet weather pants in there. Dave had spied three men who were casing us out and had overheard them say they were going to get a closer look at us around the corner. Not a good thing in these parts. Soon enough though he had an Uber pulling up outside and whisked us away.
We took the parts to the mechanic and headed back to Daves place. Hopefully Rosie will be ready tomorrow.
23 March 2017
T – Rosie is ready to be picked up! The nice 6 pole stator wouldn’t fit with the old fly wheel unfortunately, so the mechanic replaced the black copper things with the new shiny ones and away she went. Woohoo!
We had to go into another suburb of the city where we renewed our insurance for another month, ours runs out in a few days, and then wandered to another Royal Enfield dealer to drool over the bikes. In Australia they are about $6500, here they are $3700, Cheap!
Then we pretty well chilled out for the rest of the day. Chantelle went and picked her bike up and then the three of us put our stickers on and went out for beers. And so ends our Bogota adventure. Tomorrow we will begin our southward journey again.
C – We have been so fortunate to see Bogota with Dave. We definitely saw parts of the city we would not have seen without him and tried local delicacies we would not have otherwise tried. But, it is time to keep moving and we are excited to continue exploring Colombia.
So, tomorrow, the journey continues with a fully repaired Rosie who has new stickers, new mirrors, new footpegs, new lights, new stator and her forever plucky attitude!!