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Bogota Trip

October 24, 2016

We got home sunday in the afternoon, after a long bus ride. It must have been the milk run route - the driver stopped in just about every little town along the way. It was about 20 hours, if not more, for the trip home. We have many photos which I have posted in the photo album, just look for the Bogota album. And some videos as well.

While we were in Bogota my landlady contacted me to tell me she found my neighbors cat in our apartment. She said it appeared to have not done anything bad inside, but may have been there for 3 days, just crying to get out. The only possible way for the cat to get in is from the patio. Which means the cat had to be on the roof, then jump down to a steel-bar grate over the top of the patio, then jumped down through the grate to the laundry sink, then to the floor. I had left the patio door open just so the room would have some fresh air while we were away. But, when we got home, we found thingw were a bit dirtier than we'd hoped or expected. And after that very long bus ride we were mopping, 3 times, the apartment. Then I found that the toilet tank wasn't refilling with water after a flush. So, the next task was to dive into the tank and find out what was wrong there, and I did - the valve inside the tank was plugged. Not a great way to start our evening back home.

Friday night we received an email from the Ministry of Exterior Relations (they handle the visas and passports), They denied the visa. :( Which means we have to re-apply - in 6 months. So the money that was sent to us will be set aside and saved for that time, unless you want it back, just contact me and say the word, and I'll send it back to you, no problem. As for why it was denied, there is no explanation given. Our guess is that it is because of the short amount of time we have been married before applying for the visa - they probably assume the marriage is only for the purpose of my getting legal. That is of course an incorrect assumption on their part, but there is no arguing with them about it, no negotiating. It's done, for now. We'll just do it again in 6 months.

It is nice to be back in Barranquilla where the weather is warm, very warm. No coats, jackets, sweaters, needed here. In Bogota people are bundled up in coats and scarves in the evenings, and light jackets in the day.

There is a road in Bogota, Calle 7, which is closed to all motor vehicles, for many kilometers. There are many office buildings/shopping centers/museums/restaurants/etc in this part of town and people are happy to walk on with the intrusion of motor vehicles. The President's Home is at one end of this former busy city street. I got a couple pictures of it, but from a distance, because the police around the place don't allow anyone close enough to get good pics.

On Saturday morning we walked through a small part of the area again, and went by the front of the Museum of Gold. We saw the price and decided we could afford that one museum; it was only 3000 pesos (about 1 dollar US). And at the ticket counter we got an even better surprise - I was free because of my age (I'm not old, yet, just old enough to get into this one museum for free). The Museum of Gold is a fascinating place to visit. We have many pics, I'll post on my website photo album after I get through sorting through them all.

Some of the other pics you will see there will be pics of the very first church build in Bogota, back in the 1540's (If I remember correctly, but it was in the 1500's). It is still used for services. We were allowed to go inside and take some pictures. The pics don't give you the impression you get when you are inside the place, of course, but they are well worth looking at. There are pics of several other very old churches. There is another church that dates back a couple hundred years, but they don't allow any camera usage inside, so no pics of that one. And it has some very beautiful sculptures and carvings inside.

So we didn't get the visa, and we have to wait 6 months before we can re-apply, we still have all the money people sent us for this, and it will be used for this when the time comes. We did have a nice time visiting the capitol of Colombia, but I like Barranquilla better - fewer people, warmer weather, friendlier people. But, Bogota is a better city to visit if you are a "culture vulture" type of person; and it is quieter (almost no horn honking, which is nonstop in Barranquilla), the climate is cooler (bring a sweater/jacket and umbrella). I like the food of Barranquilla better as well, though because of our tight budget we didn't eat a wide variety of foods.

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