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24 hours in Columbia

Four years ago me and my best friend Steph were travelling around South and Central America for 10 weeks. Over half way through the trip we embarked from the Peruvian Amazon to head to Costa Rica and we had a day layover in Bogota, Colombia.

The night we arrived in Bogato we looked at the brochures at the hostel to see what we could do the following day and we came across a bike tour riding around the city checking out the history, culture, and street art of Bogota. Our young guide Fernando picked us up from the hostel the next morning taking us to the main office and we did the usual paperwork and finding the right bike and we were on our way.

The first few destinations were at a couple of Colombia capital historical monuments like The Bolivar Square and the Plaza de Toros Santamaria telling us about this history of Colombia. We continued riding our bikes to a square where there were salesmen selling emerald gems and not too far we stop to a local bakery to try some savory treats.

We continue our journey around the city checking out some amazing graffiti and dropping into a place where they show how they roast their own Colombian coffee beans and showing us the process. Right next door they had their own cafe and it was my first time I tried a shot or coffee without putting sugar in it and it was so delicious I bought a bag of coffee beans to bring home to my family. As we walked out of the cafe we bumped into so local teenagers and our guide was chatting to them and they wanted to rap to us in Spanish about the life in Colombia. Even though I didn't understand a word they were rapping it's was really good.

One of the many stories our guide shared with us throughout the bike ride was about Jaime Garzon who was a comedian and journalist. He was quite popular on Colombian television throughout the 1990's and was a peace negotiator in the release of FARC guerrilla hostages. He was murdered in 1999 but they don't know who exactly killed him. The case remains unsolved.

We got back to the main office and we were asking Fernando where is a good place to grab a bite to eat. So he offered to take me and Steph to try some more local food. Over dinner Fernando was chatting to us about living in Bogota and he's ambitions and he was wondering about our lifestyle back in Australia. We wondered more around the city and he showed us some more graffiti spots and I was super excited to see one piece of street art in particular. It was of a girl holding a gun but also was a camera. A very political piece of street art.

We continued walking around and we got to see some live local music. It was getting late and Fernando walked us back to our hostel. Before we parted ways we got our photo taken on my polaroid camera and writing a message thanking him for a great day in Bogota.

Prior to our adventures to South America we heard how dangerous Colombia is and nothing positive about country but while we were on our trip everyone we came across who had been to Colombia had many great things to say.

We both wish we had more time to see more of this beautiful country. If I haven't said before South America is one of my favourite continents I've ever travelled around. I dream of the day I get to travel back to South America and when I do I'm going to make sure I spend at least two weeks in Colombia.

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