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Bogotà and Food Tour :)

Our first touring day of Bogotà started early at 8:30.  The Museo del Oro opens at 9 and we have a few places we want to go to before we meet for the food tour at 1:30.

As we are leaving,  Alexis says he will walk us to the museum. Well that's nice of him :)  He takes his bike along but walks with it beside us. I know the route there but probably makes him feel good to show us the way.  But he walks fast and I'm trying to look around and see things along the way!  By the time we get to the museum its 9 and I'm sweating!! Think we are almost the first people to enter today. We tell Alexis we'll be back around 5:30 and give him a small tip and off he goes on his bike back to the parquedero.  

We pay for our ticket in and also get the audio tour to listen to. This museum has 55,000 pieces of gold work from ancient cultures but only have 6000 pieces on display here. We spent close to 2 hours walking around the displays on 2 floors. Great place to see work that is so old!

Walking with Alexis

Nose ring which is about 5" across - the natives wore very large nose rings 

I like how the museum has a shaded body behind the gold pieces to show where they were worn


This nose ring is huge - but because the gold is so thin it would not have been very heavy


Close up of above face cover

Even WAY back in the day the natives crushed leaves and sniffed it up their nose with these gadgets




These are funeral masks and would be put on the chieftain's  face and buried with him 





From there we walked around the square in front of the museum where there were different vendors setup selling their goods - like a farmer's market. We tried a huge cookie type wafer that was smeared with caramel then with blackberry syrup and topped with another wafer. Tasted pretty good. Tried a few different cheeses, but didn't find any I really liked - all very bland. Guess because they don't age their cheese. Another booth was selling homemade jams and hot sauces. We bought a HOT sauce and a jam with ginger and some fruit (not sure what kind! LOL) but it tastes yummy :)  Both made by the Russian Gourmet. Yes the girl that makes it is from Russia.  Then we tried some coffee. Coffee only became a thing in Colombia about 20 years ago. Before that they never drank much coffee because it was all exported. Now there are all types and ways to make coffee here.

Beautiful colourful necklaces made by native Colombians 

The wafer "sandwich" with caramel and blackberry syrup


The corn kernels here are HUGE!!

BBQ and served with butter and lime 

We continue to walk down the pedestrian walkway heading to Plaza Bolivar. BUT first, we need something to tide us over until we go for the food tour since it doesn't start until 1:30.  So we see a McD's!! Yes just want a regular burger for a change - I know crazy since I don't even like McD's burgers!! Anyways, we go in and order the Cuarto de libra con cheddar queso for me and Dwayne wants the Big Mac - no change in Spanish LOL!!  While in there I get to use the wifi but since I dont have my laptop I can't do any blogging.


Yup, the Big Mac made in Colombia- Dwayne does like his burgers! I think his challenge will be to have a Big Mac in everyone SA country!! LOL!!

We continue to head over to the main square. This is where the government buildings and the mayors office plus the Cathedral of Bogotà are located. AND LOTS OF PIGEONS!!!! With people feeding them there are thousands I'm sure!!  From this crazy bird place we start heading uphill towards the La Candelaria district which is the "Old City" area.  It also has the Fernando Botero Museum, both art and statutes - the guy who depicts everyone as large and fat - also known as Boterismo.  The art is quite funny and between his art are also Picasso pictures! How did that guy ever get known to be an artist I'll NEVER understand. All his art is nonsensical - if that's a word LOL!!!


Walking towards Plaza Bolivar

Cathedral of Bogotà


Love the big metal knockers on the church doors, but how do you ever reach them??


There were all sorts of people along the pedway trying to make money, the guys all painted in silver and singing, or painted in bronze standing still as a statue, but this guy was funny!! He was set up like a baby in a carriage and made all these funny baby noises and asking for money. Waving his little arms and legs. And if you passed by without leaving some coins in his box it would start crying and really kicking up his legs! Just weird since his face of course is his and he is looking at you! One of the better ways of asking for money 😂




Walking up in the La Candelaria district 




Church on Cerro Monserrate 

Weird building for this area

German influenza - they were here in the 1800's making beer
Botero's cute Mona Lisa 



Guess who??? Crazy Piccaso 

And he got paid for this?? Man Smoking a Pipe - well I can sort of see that at least 

Venus sleeping 


Once thru the gallery we start to head towards the Cranky Croc hostel where we will meet up with Josè our guide for the food tour. As we all gather there are a total of 10 of us on the tour.  3 from New Zealand, 4 from the US, 1 from the Netherlands :) and us.  The 3 from New Zealand are on a 9 week trip flying from country to country. 2 girls from the US I didnt get to really speak with so not sure what they have been doing. The other 2 from US are a couple who just flew in to Bogotà and will be here and Cartegena for a total of 3 weeks. And the guy from the Netherlands - Peter, is a newly graduated doctor who also just got to Bogotà and will be spending 5 weeks in Colombia.


Some more painted buildings on the way to the Crazy Croc hostel


This front for a drugstore has a lot going on!
First place we head to is a have a bowl of Ajica soup - a chicken and potato soup that is very popular in Bogotà.  Pretty tasty soup :)
(forgot to take a pic :(

Second stop is to try BBQ Chiguiro 😉 Another local favourite. And it was really good 😋 along with baked plantain, potato and guacamole.  

The menu card

BBQ the meat over an open fire - if you guessed Capybara- you're right! 

Third stop was for tamale - similar to what you get in Mexico and Honduras,  cornmeal dough surrounding pieces of meat like chicken - bones and all , plus here they also add chick peas, and all wrapped up in a banana leaf tired with string and steamed until the cornmeal is cooked. Didnt take a picture because it tasted better then it looked!  Josè also got us to try different pieces of fruit. I cant remember the names of them all but I do remember what they look like and which ones were good. So next time we buy some groceries I'll be looking for a couple of those fruits. 



Josè passing the assortment of fruit for us to try.
Then we walked over to a private home belonging to a Venezuelan family.  There we got to make our own empanadas. She had already made the dough and different fillings.  She showed us how to flatten out the dough between two pieces of waxed paper with a plastic cutting board 😄 Then put in the fillings we wanted fold over and seal!  Once sealed we took it to the kitchen where the daughter was manning the frying pan with the oil and she would put the empanada into the oil and cook them for us. It was great fun watching everyone make their own. Dwayne's actually came out better then mine!! Guess who's gonna be makin' empanadas!! LOL!!!  



Dwayne's dough flattened out nicely! Added beef and cheese

Fold over and pinch the edge
peel off the wax paper and take to the kitchen 

And then enjoy your empanada :)

Fifth stop was at a typical coffee cafe where they make coffee different ways. The barista showed us how they use a method where the water is boiled in what looks like a glass beaker but circular, under which she puts a burner full of oil and lights the wick (like under a fondue pot but with a big wick). On top of the glass ball is another container that has the coffee in it.  Once the water boils it rises into the upper container and fills it up with hot water. Once all the water is out of the glass ball the pressure then pulls the water BACK into the glass bottle leaving the coffee grounds behind! So cool!  



Coffee added to the top container, water in the bottom being heated by the little burner

Water boils in the glass bulb and shots up into the ground coffee - one of the Kiwi guys watching intently :) 

Once all the water has passed to the upper container the burner is removed and the coffee then drips back down into the glass bulb

Last stop was to have hot chocolate WITH cheese!!  We got served the hot chocolate with 2 cheese cubes on the side. We then put the cheese INTO the hot chocolate. Once you finish the hot chocolate you can scoop out the semi melted cheese out with a piece of delicious corn bread :)  Weird but fun!!  This was a great tour costing us only $23C each!  But is was getting close to 5:30 and we didnt want to be walking back to Vanna in the dark. 



Our group 



As it turned out it took us a little longer because we stopped at a grocery store to pickup up a jug of water for drinking. As we are getting close to the parquedero there is Alexis on his bike coming towards us!! He was wondering what was taking us so long LOL!!! He was worried about us!  We get to the parquedero and find Fidel is inside. He said that Alexis was wondering about us. Says he is a very kind person - we agree!!  Then they both talk about going into a building to see the chapel on the hill. Even with Fidel using his google translator I'm not quite sure what he is talking about. I'm thinking they are going to take us to the high building with the lights on it but as it turns out we go to the building across the street that is empty! The guard inside lets us in and Alexis goes up the stairs first,  holding the flashlight down so I can see the stairs since there are no lights on! He keeps going up probably 4 floors and I'm asking how much further at which point he goes out onto the floor and towards a balcony we can go outside and see the church on Cerro (Hill) Monserrate and the statue of Guadalupe on Cerro Guadalupe the next hill overlooking Bogotà. The lights on the church change colors and looks really cool, but any picture I try to take doesn't work - just blurred.  Then Alexis takes us up another couple of floors for yet a better look :)  Which it is because we now can go out on a balcony that overlooks the city. Great view. Nice of Fidel and Alexis to take us up here. Guess the building was used as a Staples Call Center but they vacated (not sure why) and the government is suppose to put a medical clinic in the building.



Looking at the church in the next block

The Corpatria Tower lit up - 3rd tallest building in Colombia at 50 stories - built in 1978

And there is Vanna in the parquedero 

We get back to the parquedero and talk for awhile. Tell Fidel we will be staying until Sunday morning if that is ok - sure!  Then we went into Vanna and crashed shortly afterwards cuz we put on a lot of kms today - 11k and my toes are hurting since I wore my runners not hiking shoes! 

Tomorrow we head to Cerro Monserrate - but will not be walking up the pilgrimage trail since it's 2kms up and the elevation gain is 740m and with that type of increase it would take me a lot longer then the 1 hour it's suppose to take! We'll be taking the gondola up - thank you! LOL!!!

 

























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