Saturday, May 17, 2008

Medellin, Bogota

Medellin wasn´t great at all. The city has very little to offer but I´ve heard that maybe the highlights are to be seen in the countryside outside it. Zona Rosa is the main area with nightlife but it´s like going for a drink in Cafe en Seine or Ron Blacks with a similar pricing structure. It was 5000 for a beer here compared to 1800 everywhere else and the accommodation in Casa Kiwi was 60,000 compared to 40,000 here in Bogota which is the highest we have paid. The exchange rate here is 1800 Pesos to the dollar so we generally just half and take away the 000 to convert to dollar. The dollar is generally our benchmark here to decide whether we´re paying alot. Colombia has been the dearest country we´ve encountered so far. The lonely planet doesn´t give an honest reflection at all on prices and we´ve heard rumours that the lonely planet writers weren´t even in Colombia and judging by prices and the errors I wouldn´t find that hard to believe.

Anyway we headed for Bogota after here and naturally the 9 hour trip took 12 hours but that´s to be expected. We were very pleasantly surprised by Bogota. It´s the nicest capital city we´ve encountered so far. We arrived in late the first night so didn´t see much. we stayed in Hostel Sue which was really lovely near Platypus hostel. The first day was filled with museum visiting with us seeing the Museo del Oro (or Gold museum), Museo Nacional and also Cerro de Montserrate which gave a great view of the city. Plaza Bolivar was also very nice to see. Today we headed to Cathedral Sal in the morning which is a church-cathedral built into a hollowed out salt mountain and this afternoon we headed for the Museo de Policia which was very good. The sound guides here as much as the material made it. It was really interesting talking to the guides covering a broad range of topics such as FARC and cocaine production.

Tomorrow we´re headed for Cartagena on a flight. Santa Marta is our only other planned destination in Colombia but I´m sure we might stop in between somewhere. After that we´ll head for Venezuela where Maracaiba, Caracas and Angel falls are our planned destinations. If time allows we might also head for the Orinoco delta. We´re planning on being down to Manaus in Brasil to catch a flight to Sao Paulo on the 5th of June from where we´ll head towards Iguazu falls. That´s the plan but it´s open to change.

The latest photos are here:
Salento, Medellin, Bogota

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