My flight to Bogotá Colombia left at 11:05am, so I had to leave my hotel by 8am. The flight took three hours, and with an hour in immigratiuon etc I was at my hotel by 4pm. Two hours later it was dark outside, so Bogotá is more east versus Lima, still on the same time zone.
Bogotá is a large and busy city. I have been walking the streets some hours every day trying to figure out the city. First of all, it sits at the altitude of 2,640 masl (meters above sea level) (8,660 ft). This means that as soon as you are out of your plane, within an hour or so, you feel the slight pressure to your forehead, like a mild headache, or a slight hangover. The body does not like to change more than 300 masl per day when you cross over 2,000 masl, so Bogotá is a bit of a pain in the first day or so. You must take it easy.
With lots of hills and mountains surrounding the city, I walked an uphill trail in a hilside like I use to do at home. My favorite uphill walk at home is a slalom hill with 130 height meters, which I walk in 8 minutes no problems, still with max pulse on the top. Here in Bogotá I tried this litte hill, only may be 50 height meters, and after a minute I felt my heartrate boosting. So take it easy, the altitude is a problem. It is the same amount of air i.e. oxygen here as other places, but the lower air pressure makes less oxygen flow into our lungs every time we breath…
The newspaper mentioned a nearby mountain “Monserrate”, being the largest mountain in Bogotá city, at 3,152 masl (10,341 ft). It looked great, so I went there. Some might call it a tourist trap, but the fact is this is one of the main tourist attractions in Bogotá, and a great one. I had some local food called “Platano Aborrazjado”, with cheese, guava and some other stuff, vegetarian, and a local beer up there.
The most beautiful building was “Ambar Hotel Bogota” – by far. There is some magic to it. The architecture, the sort of rusty red orange colour, it stand out among the other buildings in the area.
I have to work my way into Bogotá, street by street, house by house. I refuse to use tourist books, I can’t find any postcards, and my hotel have no tourist maps. So I have to discover Bogotá the hard way, but I am working on it!