Bogotá Day 2

Today we visited the Columbia National Museum. The museum is located in a former prison.

They had many interesting exhibits including about the history of Columbia and the recent peace process.

After touring the museum we had coffee in the courtyard.

For our last dinner in South America we had a wonderful meal on the top floor of a nearby hotel. The restaurant is called Carpaccio. First we shared a fried mozzarella appetizer then we had squash soup with blue cheese. For the main course we had pasta and for desert chocolate. It was all wonderful.

It is Saturday night and there were two big parties at nearby tables. One was a Birthday. We assumed it was for this princess

The other party was bigger and more formal. It was an elegant quincenera. In the picture below you can see the family getting ready to make their entrance.

There was also live music. The people watching was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow we fly to Panama.

Bogotá

Today we took a cab into central Bogotá and visited El Museo de Oro ( the museum of Gold). The museum presents the history of metallurgy throughout the world and has exhibits of metal work from all the different regions of Columbia. The descriptions are in English and Spanish and we also had an English audio guide. It was fascinating and there were some beautiful pieces.

Next we walked around the streets a bit.

And then finally went to the Emerald Museum. They mine a lot of emeralds in Columbia. Although we couldn’t take pictures the young guide was very good. The museum is on the 23rd floor of a bank building.

Neiva to Bogotá

This morning we were on the bus from Neiva to Bogotá by 7:30. It was a double decker very comfortable bus and we were in Bogotá at 1:00.

In Bogotá in the cab to the hotel the first thing the driver asked us was about Trump. Then for the whole drive he talked non stop about how wonderful and smart Trump is. He said among lots of other things how immigrants are the problem. Just look at the Venezuelans!! It was surreal!

We are staying at a great hotel in a very upscale part of Bogotá. The altitude here is 8,440 feet so the temperature is much cooler than Neiva. It all feels very European. We walked to dinner at a great restaurant nearby. Both of us had steak.

And a warm brownie and ice cream for desert.

San Augustin Archaeological Park Day 5

Tonight is our last night at El Monastario, our wonderful hotel near San Augustin. Duke and I discussed over dinner and agreed that this is one of the best places we have ever stayed. This is Duke at breakfast.

Today we toured a coffee farm. It is about a mile down the road from El Monastario.

First we walked through the field and watched as Hector picked some coffee.

Then he showed us how he processed and dried the coffee.

Then he husked and roasted the coffee.

Finally he ground it and brewed some for us to drink.

It tasted great and we are bringing some home.

San Augustin Archaeological Park Day 4

Today we walked a mile and a half over to the entrance to the park. About half way through our walk it started to rain and we got a bit wet.

From there we caught the bus into San Augustin. We changed money, walked around exploring, and stopped for coffee.

When we first arrived in town we found the bank where the daughter of the family Duke stayed with in 1980 works. The bank was closed for lunch so we came back at two. When we got back we found our way to the manager’s office. There were several clerks outside the office and a lot of people waiting their turns.

Duke stuck his head into her office. When she was done with her customer Duke went in and showed her the pictures from 1980. She was very happy to see them and they talked for about five minutes. She insisted we go show the pictures to her mother who lives about four blocks away.

We found the house. Her sisters and mother were there and we had fun laughing and talking. It was all quite an experience.

When we were done we caught a taxi back to our hotel.

Dinner at the hotel. My appetizer was topped with a quail egg.

For our main courses we had chicken and risotto.

San Augustin Archaeological Park -Day 3

Today was a day of rest. Our big accomplishment was changing hotels. We liked Hostal Huaka-Yo a lot. It is where we spent the last three nights. The people were helpful and friendly. The setting was peaceful and beautiful and our room was spacious and comfortable.

When Duke was making reservations for our stay in San Augustin he couldn’t decide between two hotels, Hostal Huaka-yo and Monasterio de San Augustin. So he booked three nights at the first and two nights at the second.

Today we packed up and moved. Monasterio is beautiful and what a view.

Our room is quite luxurious although there is no wifi in the room.

Our dinner was fabulous. A gourmet feast!