Our first port of call in Bogotá was a place called Celebrity Suites. We knew we’d be arriving in late, so a pre-booked hotel was a good idea. It’s well worth a visit if you are ever in Bogota. Not the cheapest hotel, but it’s luxurious & interesting. With an excellent breakfast and friendly staff thrown in it’s not so expensive at about €120 per night. It’s a hotel designed for long stays, so each room is effectively an apartment with kitchen, living room & bedroom. Our room had two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, and a big lounge – slight overkill for a one night stay J Each room is dedicated to a celebrity, so you can always look for your favourite.
After our luxurious night it was time to return to the real world and move to our reserved apartment. In fairness, our apartment was also quoted as luxurious, so it wasn’t a huge downgrade. All seemed good on arrival to the apartment – a little smaller and not as well equipped as expected, but the owner said he bring some extra bits & pieces. You can see from the photos here that it is a nice place, so we’d little to be complaining about.
But somehow I wasn’t happy. Of course I was still without my bags, so the frustration of not being able to train was getting to me. Then there was the Bogotá traffic – it’s a manic city – only place I’ve been to compare is Hanoi. Guess with 8million people it’s going to be busy. Don’t think they’ve an NCT system here either as the fumes from some of the cars is unbearable. The weather in Bogotá wasn’t what I was expecting. Temperature wise it is perfect, but there seems to be at least one very heavy shower on a daily basis. All & all there were things to be disappointed about and the thought did go through my head “Why aren’t we in Melbourne?”
Sharlene got her bags after two days. I had to wait three. At least everything eventually did arrive. I couldn’t wait to go for a jog, so on with the gear and I headed towards what looked like a good running route from Google maps. Alas it wasn’t an ideal route as it was too close to traffic. Is there any getting away from the traffic in Bogota? I ran west looking to escape the traffic. To an extent I did, crossing some soccer pitches and even some farmer fields. I didn't really take note of where I was going as typically it's very easy to know where you are in Bogotá on account of the grid system and high mountain peaks to the east. This was a mistake - I ended up in the Bogotá slums and out of energy. I was reduced to a walk after only 90 minutes of running. It must be the altitude. Now I was getting worried. I was about 2 hours from home if walking with no money. I tried to take short-cuts, but was put in my place by 3 stray dogs. It was quite a scary moment being confronted by hungry looking dogs foaming at the mouth with not a soul in sight. I stood my ground and growled back. Thankfully it worked to an extent - the dogs weren't backing down and so I couldn't cross their path, but I was able to slowly back off and eventually make it to safety. Back to the main roads I think J Rabies is not something I want to contract. Time to get out of Bogota perhaps, but we had prepaid 25 nights for the apartment! Hmmm, what next ...