Bogotá

The town has crept up the sides of the mountain. Here you can see a section of condos or apartments which are brightly painted.

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia with over 8 million people. Traffic is a problem as is typical in most large cities although they have an extensive bus system and lanes just for bus/taxi/ and maybe carpools. 10 lanes of traffic can creep along or move quickly depending on the time of day. Personal vehicles are restricted to the days which they can be used in the city (just as is done in San Jose Costa Rica).

Left to right: Andres, Gina, Lindie, Dan, Esperanza, Alvarita. Front Pureza and 2 of the 3 cats. Note view in the background.

We stayed with a lovely family with two professional parents and an adult son who is in year 5 of medical school. There were also one pit bull and 3 cats. The apartment was on the top floor (17th) of an apartment building and it had 2 levels: a total of 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. It was interesting that this apartment was the penthouse although it didn’t have an oven, only gas burners. Not fancy but beautiful views. The cost to them is $600 per month, including fees for the security, grounds keeping, parking, etc.

They were wonderful, taking us to a place to get my laptop looked at, a store to buy a Bluetooth keyboard since they couldn’t fix the malfunctioning keys on my laptop (Bogotá has an entire mall devoted to electronics!!!), and fed us several times.

Center top apartment is where we stayed.

I had some breathing trouble with the cats so I stayed in our bedroom more than I would have liked. We enjoyed talking in Spanish with the family who had limited English.

Since we left, the son moved with his girlfriend Gina (also a medical student) to begin his residency in another town. They took his dog and her hers and left her cat so there are no dogs and 4 cats in the house now. That’s way too many cats for me so we won’t go back there if we are in Bogotá again.

Pureza and 2 of the 3 cats waiting for the adults to come home from work/school.

We felt safe in the places we were in Bogotá although we did have an issue with a taxi claiming it could only take a debit card. Long story and hopefully my dispute of the charges which showed up on my bank account will be removed within a few days of posting this entry.

Being in the mountains,, the weather in Bogotá was drastically different from Cartagena. The city is at 8,661 feet and was delightfully cool.

Living in Bogotá and Colombia in general is cheap. I could walk to the local produce store and get a heavy bag of fruits and veggies for $3. I paid $0.50 for a head of hydroponic lettuce. Cabs are cheap too (except for that one I mentioned above), usually running $2-4 per trip.

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