Our bus came into Bogota late and there was no public transportation to our Couchsurfing hosts’ house. This meant we had to wait in line for 30 minutes for a taxi. No taxi driver we have had here yet has ever known where he is going. Carrie asked him, “¿Sabe donde?” “Mas o menos,” he replied. To us this meant, “I have no idea where we are going but I will drive around in circles for an hour, hope you don’t notice, and try to charge you for my mistakes.” Luckily this time we got the price up front so when he eventually did get lost he couldn´t rip us off. So after the 10 hour bus ride, 30 min waiting for a taxi, then 45 minutes driving around the city lost, we finally made it to our destination.
We woke early the next moring to check out the city. Jumped on the Bogota TransMilenio, which is a bus system that travels on its own road. It is very efficient and cheap at 1700 COP (less than $1) each, and an easy way to get downtown from anyplace. Bogotá is much more ordered with less of the amazing chaos that we loved about Medellín. The main roads are full of chain shops and car dealerships, sidewalks packed with men in suits reading the daily news. The first thing we needed was food since we haden´t eaten dinner the night before. In our Lonely Planet guide book (which has been very unreliable thus far…more on that later) we found a vegetarian restauraunt called Quinoa y Amaranto that we wanted to try. We wandered through La Candelaria which is very European with its skinny streets, although all the buildings are different colors which gives it that Latin vibe. Eventually we found the resuraunt. You walk into a small room with a cash register and behind it a small four-burner stove that they cook everything on. In the corner is a spiral staircase and you climb that and eat upstairs. They had a set lunch for 12,000 COP which included soup, juice, spinich pasta with pesto, a mushroom salad, and bowl of cherry jelly sauce for dessert. Muy delicioso! Not very Latin, but the best meal we have had thus far.
With our stomachs full, we walked to the bottom of the hill overlooking the city and took the cable car to the top. At the summit was Monserrate, a beautiful cathedral overlooking the capital city. The trip was expensive and the car was full of gringos, but it was well worth it for the view. The whole city was there before you, with clouds casting shadows and rain in the distance. We were happy to have a safe spot to break out the cameras and shoot some footage for the film.
Overlooking Bogota from Cerro Monserrate