Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 33 - Panama City, Panama, to Bogota, Colombia

Today we said goodbye to Panama.  Our flight out was at 12:24 p.m.on COPA Airlines to Bogota.  Gabriela got the tickets for us, which was a big help!  Flight time, 1 hour 9 minutes.  We landed, found a hotel after a little running around, located Girag Air Freight and gave them a call.  The bikes are here in Bogota and waiting for us!  Wow.  We decided it was too late in the day, so we'll go first thing tomorrow morning and spend the rest of this afternoon and evening roaming the old colonial part of town, La Candelaria. It was surprisingly cool, but then we realized we were at 2640 m (8200 ft) in altitude.  This is a very busy city with 7,300,000 inhabitants.  Riding the bikes through town tomorrow will be interesting, as the traffic looks like complete chaos with all the buses, motorcycles and cars.  Interestingly, all motorcyclists have to wear vests and helmets that display their license plate number in bright yellow characters.  This is to reduce motorcycle theft and subversive activities by motorcycle riders. We'll have to see if we will have to obtain these vests as well.

We visited the Botero Museum.  I saw my first Picasso.  :) ... and my second and my third.  Also saw a Monet and other impressionist  art.  These works are from Botero's (a famous Colombian artist himself) private collection.
Pablo Picasso, Man with a pipe. 1969.

Henri Matisse.

 Lots of universities, theaters and museums in the old city.

 Quaint, small-sized church.

 University girls happy to pose for a picture.

Boy refurbishing a guitar. We wandered the streets of La Candelaria and encountered nothing but kind, hospitable, smiling, happy people.

We stopped at an amazing little restaurant for some typical Colombian food  This dish is called "ajiaco," a traditional dish that tastes like potato soup and contains lots of tender pieces of chicken.

It seems incredible that we are in South America already and that the challenge of shipping the bikes by air is already behind us. Tomorrow we will pick up the bikes and the adventure continues: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru...and on down.


  1. You are finally in South America! Whoo hooo!


  2. You made it to Bogota! I've seen it from the airport many times, even last July, but only from the airport. Beautiful mountains surrounding. Have fun!

  3. Hello, I am Adriana , Gabriela's colombian friend here in Michigan. It makes me proud to know that my people have been kind to you guys. Bogota itself is not necessarily a turistic destination in my opinion, but I guess you are the kind of people who really know how to enjoy life and see the good in everything. My husband Jim and I are very happy to read your blogs and see everything is well. The towns that you are about to visit, I guess VilladeLeiva among them, are gorgeous. Have a great time and be safe.

  4. Good job guys, you made it. I know you guys will have a wealth of knowledge to use when I in my later years (kids gone) will attempt this journey.

  5. Hola Adriana,

    You can be proud of your country! The people are wonderful and even the military peronnel stands along the roads with their thumbs up as we go by, indicating that all is safe and in good order. We went to a BMW motorcycle dealer in Bogotá and it was the most incredible, multi-story dealership I have ever seen. They had all parts available (at a price) and even had a coffee bar serving espressos and capuchinos, and beautiful women in short skirts, smiling at the rich BMW owners, and then they saw us grubby road-rats with dirty bikes. :-)

    Best to you,

  6. I'm thinkin' the young lad that was fixing guitars and I could have spent some time chatting! South America, YESSSSSSSSS. thinkin' of ya Bud. be good to you.

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