- Curt & Les Book - Bogota
12.11.04 - Arrived in Panama City around 5AM, and tried to go to the Miraflores Locks along the canal. Ended up boarding the wrong bus, which took us in the direction of the airport. Decided to go straight to the airport, where we waited all morning until finally buying a last-minute noon ticket to Bogota on Avianca. Short, uneventful flight and entered Colombia with no problems. Got a taxi for Les and Curtis Books house, where we were warmly greeted and given a delicious meal. In the evening, met Carlos (EMU Spanish Conversation Patner) and his friends, who took us to a youth concert at local Brethern in Christ church, and met lots of friendly people. Came back to Books exhausted.
12.12.04 - Went to church with the Books in the morning. A Brethern In Christ church plant from several years ago, about 50 people. For lunch went to a delicious fish restaurant, and then headed across town for an afternoon service at another church plant. This one was only one year old, and had about 20 people attending. It was held in the basement of Pastor Sammy's home. Went back to the Book's in the evening and went to bed.
12.13.04 - Spent the day exploring downtown Bogota with Natalia (from the Book's church) and her sister Katarin. Went to the center, La Candelaria (colonial quarter) visited several markets, and went to a restaurant and coffeeshop. In late afternoon we went to their house and had some arepas, and hung out talking and playing guitar. On the way back to the Books, stopped at Parque 93 and looked at Christmas lights. Enjoyed fresh apple dumplings that Les made, before going to bed.
12.14.04 - Spent most of the day working on computer stuff and writing. Took the Book's out for for ice cream in early afternoon. Spent afternoon pondering options for getting out of Bogota, decided to fly instead of bus because of safety concerns. Found great deal on tickets to Quito on Aeuropostal, a Venezuelan airline. In the evening, Charlie came over and we went out with him, his girlfriend Gloria, and his sister. Walked around a nice plaza and went our for empanadas. Returned late.
12.15.04 - Worked on website and journal entry in the morning. After lunch, we took a bus up to Caleras for a nice view of the city. Had some roasted corn and cheese arepas along the road, before heading back down. Packed up, finished up website work, and rushed off to airport after saying our goodbyes. Passed quickly through security and waited several hours for our flight, only to find that it was cancelled because of bad weather. Received free passes to the International Hotel in Bogota, by far our nicest accomadations yet.
12.16.04 - Were shuttled back to the airport and flew out around 730am. Arrived in Quito an hour later, took a trolley into city, and after several attempts finally found a bookstore with a Lonely Planet South America book. Continued on to old city and decided to stay at Grand Hotel, which was under renovations and fairly inexpensive. Afternoon went out and ate cheap Chinese, explored beautiful Old city, climbed the towers of the main Basilica and got a good view of the city. Stopped at an internet cafe, and then headed out for a dinner of empanadas and cake. Started to rain, and so returned back to hotel exhausted.
January 29, 2005