I probably should tell you that America may be blessed in many areas, but it is sadly lacking in the variety of fruits and vegetables that God put on this planet. Places like Bogota, however, have been endowed with God’s abundant harvest. When we hit the market with Mike, the guide for Bogota Bike Tours, he started picking out and cutting up a variety of the local fruits for all of us to see and sample. It was great, if a little sticky. Mike even has a web page that talks about some of the fruit in much better detail than I could. It has lots of great pictures and and the names that I can not pronounce of some of the wonderful fruits that we ate. Go see Mike’s pictures here.
I took this picture with the purpose of making a little art. There were a bunch of us, standing around a roaster, taking pictures to see who could take the best picture of the beans. The winner was, of course, the person with the best camera. People with expensive cameras tend to take better pictures, not just because they can afford better equipment, but also because they attempt to learn how to make better pictures with that better equipment. This was my best result. I think I’ll make an 8 X 10 and hang it up on a wall somewhere.
The fellow who made the latte for several of the group made sure that we all got to see him make several designs for the customers. We were told that he was practicing for a design competition to see who could make the best design in the latte they poured. It was my first experience with latte designs. I hope it won’t be my last.
We went to see the Central Cemetery of Bogota on the bike tour. There are, supposedly, many prominent Colombians buried there. Our guide told us that there were 22,000 people buried in the crypts. That’s a small city.
Another stop on the bike tour was the bullfighting ring. Apparently, the season is short, January and February, as there a no local Colombian bull fighters and all of the bull fighters seem to come from Spain during the off-season. We stopped at the bull ring for a while, got out the bull-on-a-wheel and proceeded to have a good time a indulge in a photo opportunity.
I’m not sure what you call it. I probably should call Mike and ask him. At the end of the tour we all had the option of going to a fairly dodgy local environment to play a game of ????? (someone help me here). Anyway, the objective is to throw a rather heavy iron ball about 50 feet into a pit of clay that has targets. Yeah, I know, that’s not so interesting. The interesting part is that the targets explode. Literally. They explode with enough emphasis to get your attention. Fortunately for me, the guys I was with weren’t very good at making the targets explode. They did really well with the cerveza, though.
Bogota has, supposedly, the largest network of bike paths in South America. I’d believe it. There are miles and miles and miles of bike paths in the city. I know, I rode a few of them. The day after I went on the bike tour I rented a bike for a day and took to the paths. I wanted to see Bogota up close and personal. I find riding a bicycle in a strange city a great way to see the city very up close and personal. It’s leisurely enough not to put a strain on my body and strenuous enough to give me a good workout. I get to cover a lot more terrain than I would if I were walking. I figure I can do an easy 5 miles an hour and if I peddle for 3-4 hours I can see quite a bit of a locale. Plus, I actually enjoy riding a bike. What does all that add up to? A good touring experience.
I wound up at Bogota’s Central Park during my bike ride. What did I see there? Hundreds of children. Some of them really short. As in barely walking short. That’s pretty short. This is just one shot of all of those kids. There were hundreds more. Did I fear for my safety? No. Did I fear for my sanity? Absolutely. Thank goodness there was lots of armed security personnel to protect me. Then again, there’s lots of armed security personnel everywhere in Bogota.
From left to right we have toast with butter and jam, sugar frosted flakes, coffee and fruit. This is what I had every morning after waking up in my $12 hostel dorm room. I figure the breakfast, included in the price of the room, had to be worth a couple of bucks. Make no mistake, my estimate of the value of the meal has to be on the low side. The coffee alone was worth at least a dollar. It was excellent and I could have all I wanted. I believe that I could have gotten more than one serving of the toast, cereal and fruit as well, had I chosen to do so. But, there’s no sense in making a pig of myself. At least not over cereal, toast and fruit.