Bogota backpacking

Having spent the last 3 days of my terrifying trip in Bogota, I have learnt 3 important things:

1) The driving in Bogota is some of the craziest I have ever witnessed.

2) Party hostels are NOT my thing.

3) There is a lot more to Bogota than meets the eye.

Allow me to explain these in more detail.

1) Zebra crossings, traffic lights, stop/give way signs and pedestrians are of absolutely no interest to drivers in Bogota and are treated with absolute contempt. Each just another obstacle slowing the drivers down. Every single inch of space is used, with busses and motorbikes squeezing through the tiniest of gaps. Beeping is mandatory at all times – beeping at other drivers, beeping at pedestrians, beeping at nothing in particular. Crossing the road takes ages and you risk your life trying to navigate each calle and carrera. I have been allowed to cross the road just once in 3 days – by a push bike. This, I think, sums up the driving in Colombia.

2) Undoubtedly, choosing to stay in a party hostel in the middle of a capital city was not my finest decision. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to ‘partying’ and I’m definitely not a party poopoer, but I have developed a cynicism towards the concept with age. A few beers and an early night is more my scene these days. Shocker, I know. So, naturally, I have not particularly enjoyed my time at this hostel. Loud music, loud singing, loud chatting and loud dancing combined with a complete disregard for my sleep have lead to an extremely disgruntled and tired me. My favourite night so far was Friday night – party bus night. To my absolute joy, all party-goers left the hostel at 10pm to leave me to have the best night’s sleep of my trip so far. Bliss.

3) Bogota is a fascinating city full of its own character and charm. Initially it feels intimidating and bustling but it is only when you learn the history and detail the city has to offer that you truly experience its real beauty. One of the first things you notice is that street art, or graffiti, adorns almost every wall in sight and this is one thing that gives Bogota its uniqueness. Colours, paintings and words fill blank and dull spaces and brighten up what would be an otherwise bland place. Unfortunately, Bogota is in the midst of an enforced purge on street art and beautifully created murals are being covered every day. Below are photos of the same wall 2 days apart – the graffiti removed.

The fight to keep this part of the city’s culture is ongoing but it would be an awful shame to see this covered up – figuratively and literally.

Cartegena up next. The worrisome wayfarer’s adventures continue.

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