Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Beauty and the Beast?

Once again I appreciate everyone who supported me during the tough day I had on Friday. I feel almost fully recovered and count, in a bizarre way, the disgusting event as one of the most interesting days of my life. Since I lost several days of pictures that were still in my camera, I have posted these three from this afternoon. a gray, showery, cool day.

I am in Bogota, Colombia's capital, located on a 7,600 foot plain below some amazing Andean peaks. As a child I had learned the name Bogota from collecting stamps. It had a magical, far away ring to it, so I looked forward to seeing this famous city of now eight million inhabitants with great curiousity. I arrived last night only to find a massively sprawling, chaotic and, in many parts, a particularly dirty city with little or no redeeming architectural value. Every storefront, wall or sign was smeared with graffiti. Totally disappointed, I barely wanted to leave my hotel this morning.

However, I was blessed by the good fortune of meeting Sergio, a local naturalist and conservationist who urged me to take a better look at his town. He whisked me through rather mundane or tawdry neighborhoods to see the prize of Bogota, the old Spanish city.

After plying the narrow streets filled with quaint buildings from the 17th century, we happened upon an amazing roccoco church and eventually came to the main plaza. Across from the seat of government was a massive church and the archbishop's quarters. I had seen a different and far more rewarding side of Bogota, one which showed beauty and care in its detail. I think I will remember this positive side as strongly as the negative and for this I am glad.

With the knowledge that I have scratched off one more entrancing place from my list of places to see, tomorrow I leave for the Orinoco. This river's name has always had a magical, mysterious sound, don't you think? I wonder already what lies ahead and what content it will add to my daily adventure.


  1. I'm glad you're feeling less traumatized by the event of Friday, and so glad you got to meet Sergio and see an interesting area of the huge capital. This is a very nice post all the way around. I loved your descriptions.

  2. Your resilience never fails to amaze me. I'm glad you decided to continue your explorations of Colombia and not cut your trip short. That would have been to let the bad guys win, and I couldn't stand that. They win too much as it is!