Bogota 1

Man, it’s cold here in Colombia. But whoa. Bogota.

But first, a couple of days ago Eddie and I went out and celebrated Panama City by clubbing. All the cool bikes were out, dual sports

And sport bikes. Indicators and plate hangers removed of course. I love that

Then through the City at night

They like to light up the newer buildings (which are going up like corn everywhere)

Same inside

The scene was incredibly tame, none of the happy insanity of back home.

So ended Panama. I talked to Eddie about the constant hostility and he confirmed my feelings about it. He has been here all his life, speaks perfect Panamanian spanish and because he’s Caucasian they don’t like him. It’s a bad place to be American and by default Canadian. Very different from Mexico or Guatemala. I wasn’t in the other countries long enough to write about what I think, but Central America is a very mixed bag. But I was in Guatemala, and with Guatemalans, long enough to be taken with their beauty, gentleness, intelligence, the Mayan aesthetic genius (without exaggeration) and of course their gorgeous country.

So now it’s South America! The countries and distances are huge, the landscape endlessly different, destinations very remote and the riding sometimes much harder. (If all goes well) my ultimate destination in SA is Santiago after first going to the bottom, Ushaia. Then across to New Zealand. I guess this is the 3rd leg of what I think is 8. Some are short, this one is very long.

I took a taxi to the Tocumen Airport a bit south of Panama City early this morning. I was worrying about Lucinda and how she was doing. She’s flying on a cargo plane at about the same time as me and I felt sad that she had to go it alone. Her first time. I wished I was on the same plane as her. And I won’t see her until Monday. Not the best.

Tocumen is a dull airport but efficient, as is Copa Airlines.

The customary engine/wing shot

Approaching the enormous and circuitous Rio Magdalena, after the Darien Gap

Into Colombia

What’s under there I wonder? Blow or Geraniums?

Then it was down into Bogota. Impact landing (email subscribers don’t get video anymore btw without clicking through) but took some satisfaction in knowing I took the hit, not Lucinda.

El Dorado Airport (Bogota) is huge as you’d expect for a city with a core population of 7.1 million. Like Tocumen it’s modern but dull. Christ people must go wow when they land at YVR.

Tons of dogs. They’ve been trained to ignore blow I guess

Then it’s way down the road and into Bogota, which doesn’t have a built-up skyline so it kindof sneaks up

And swallows you

Government buildings are fortresses

I was headed for the oldest part of town, La Candelaria, which looked like this tonight before the sun set

But which is still dangerous, but the only place to stay.

And close to this is El Museo del Oro, the biggest collection of Hispanic gold in the world. But my camera battery was running out

So I reserved what was left of my battery for a few pieces that struck me. Objects, an inch or so wide

This about 1 1/2 inches high, and stone

An inch or two across

A few inches

The collection was vast – 100’s of intricate and large gold objects, masks, shields, everything you could imagine. But these were my favourites, brilliant in their simplicity.

Also, Bogota has the most complex graffiti I’ve ever seen. More soon.



3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Jim & Gail,

    Interesting graffiti! Be careful/ – Jim & Gail

  2. Martin,

    fabulous pics thanks BUT… come not a single picture of you camping?
    or do you stay only in b&B’s ??

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