Saturday, January 15
Yesterday morning I arrived in Bogota and this morning I try to get an impression of the city. I take the bus to the city centre. I don’t have a bus card, but a lady is so kind to pay for me with her card and refuses cash in retour. Good first impression. In the park Rafael Uribe, a big plastic tent camp. Apparently these are poor people protesting against the government in a rich part of town. In the centre the Gold Museum has nice old Pre-Columbian art of gold, silver and other metals. Even some pottery. Then more town, visit the Iglesia de San Francisco and the central square of Simon Bolivar. Nice buildings around, a church, The Palace of Justice and the Capitolio Nacional. In the afternoon local guide Diana shows us the old part of the city. We start at Templete del Libertador and go to Chorro de Quevedo. Have chica, some mais liquor, and see nice wall paintings. Then again into the centre and visit Museo Botero, painting of chubby people, animals and fruit.
Sunday, we leave for the local market at Plaza de Paloquemao. See a lot of fruit and flowers, try several local fruits and some drinks. Inthe afternoon a flight takes us to Matecana and a bus to Solento. Lot’s of tourists, mostly Colombians. Have a nice (sweet of sugar cane) coffee. Climb the stairs for the uphill viewpoint. See the central square and the spam shops.
Monday, two jeeps take us to the famous Corona Valley. A 2 hours of winding road into the valley. We’re one us the first, so still not really touristy. Hiking into the mountains and enjoying the views. Some hummingbirds and nice plants. The way up is quite an exercise, but worth it. On top of the trail we have lunch and enjoy the view. Back in town, relax a bit and take a van to Hacienda at the Venecia Coffee Farm. Beautiful surroundings, lot’s of birds, amazing flowers and good food. We enjoy dinner and afterwards we listen to some funny music with a beer.
Tuesday, bird spotting before breakfast. This morning we do the cacao tour at the main building, the owner’s house, a beautiful old hacienda at an amazing spot. We see the whole process. Picking the fruit from the tree, get the seeds out of the fruit and taste the sweet white stuff around the seeds. The guy tells about the fermenting process, the drying and the grinding. We can taste all the steps and in the end the pure chocolate. Entertaining. Before we go back we also have a real coffee and a tour through the main building. In the afternoon it’s a coffee tour.