I am in Bogota, Columbia for a very short time. I am asked from time to time to lecture or provide information about women’s reproductive health to doctors in other countries. I will lecture in Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla and Bogota over the next four days, but I had a day to myself today (after arriving after midnight), so I packed as much in as possible!
The hotel organised a taxi to take me to a shopping centre as I wanted to see a bit of the city from the road and was hoping I could find some cyclist gear (the Columbian cyclist, Quintana is a big name in the Tour de France) for my lycra kitted up cyclist husband (except for wearing thongs on his feet), so I ended up in huge shopping centre but no cycling tops anywhere. I did, however, find good coffee, Japanese sushi (!) and accidentally became an audience member in a church service on the top floor – many devout people and enthusiastic singing. There was also an amazing display of customised cars wildly decorated and pimped up with music/lights/the works!
Drawing a blank at the shops, I took off for the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) – no idea where it was or how far away – hopped in a taxi with a manic driver, no seat belt (felt naked) through twisty/winding streets, up and down sides of mountains, past beautiful suburbs and parks, shonky scaffolding, mess and poverty. Fabulous street art and when I had just about given up on ever getting there, we arrived – in the rain. The driver (and all three of the taxis I caught today) was so good about the fare – I do not understand the money (Colombian Pesos – 1999 to one AUS$) but they ask for 25, when they mean 25,000 – I tend to give too much and they carefully give me the EXACT change!
The Gold Museum is truly fabulous so much gold everywhere to see – and as an added bonus is free to everyone on Domingo (Sunday). I noted the doors on each room were true ‘bank-safe’ doors. The organisation is excellent and takes you through Working Metals, People and Gold, Cosmology and other subjects. I learned a lot – never knew there was an alloy of copper and gold. So much to see inside and then a gorgeous gift shop and outside old Spanish buildings, women in traditional Spanish dress, a street market.
At that stage I was exhausted, so hailed another taxi and was hurtled back to my hotel at about 90kms per hour!
Off to Cali (Cali di Santiago) – I think it has featured highly in the cocaine trade – tomorrow morning. Buenos nochas!