July 2013
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Day July 14, 2013

Monseratte

There’s a low mountain range, steep hills really, that rise on the west edge of Bogota. In the photo below you can also see a white building on the hill to the left, a church (and some small buildings) called Santuario Monseratte
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The view of Bogota is supposed to be spectacular from there so I set off armed with some information: there are three ways to the top – a gondola, a train and a walk. Also I was told that on Sundays thousands of Colombians go up, some as a pilgrimage and some just for the view.

Off I set through the historic streets of La Candelaria
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Through the more typical streets
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And joined hundreds walking to the base of the mountain/hill (out of focus – sorry)
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To this building
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Looking up I could see the train tunnel disappear nearly vertically (under the gondola cables) into the face of the mountain. The train is a called a ‘funicular’.
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The crowds for the gondola were huge so I walked further up the road to what I hoped was the funicular station
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But after a while I realized I must be on the walk. I had been looking for signs but hadn’t seen one. So I braced myself for a 1500 foot climb to¬†10,340 feet. It started to get steeper
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With occasional steep switchbacks
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At the midpoint, a flat section, there were food stalls set up. Nearly everybody stopped here for what looked like a long rest, maybe lunch and some socializing
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Then up again for another 40 minutes
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It was a reasonably tough climb. Eventually, the top
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Plenty of people, most of which I guess had taken an easier way up
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The hilltops
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Bogota, all 7M souls strong, disappeared into the distance
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A couple more pics from the Museo del Oro
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and, in copper
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