Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Day 91: Homeward bound from Bogotá

Yesterday, Day 90, was an easy day of relaxing in Bogotá's hip, local neighbourhood of Chapinero. Which meant prowling the streets taking pictures of cycle facilities, like this rather congested cycle path (pic)...

...or this entertaining road sign (pic) that looks like it came from a comic strip. Eek! Crash! Crumbs, that's torn it! But I also managed to graze successfully (and cheaply) on Colombia's delightful street- and cafe-food, fresh fruit and bespoke smoothies.

Today is my last day in South America. I'll shortly be heading for the airport and the long tedious flight back home. The lovely hostel I'm staying in, La Pinta, is gearing tastefully up for the Christmas mood (pic). So here's some quick, final thoughts on my three months round the continent.

It's been very rewarding trip: astounding scenery and views, intriguing customs, food and drink, nice people, rather a lot of wearying bus journeys, plus plenty of mediocre lager. Ecuador was best for jungle trips, Peru for Andes and ancient culture, Bolivia for rough'n'ready backpackerz travelz, Chile for civilisation at airily remote altitude, Argentina for nice buses, Paraguay for smilingly gentle off-the-beaten South American everyday life, and Brazil for spectacular joie de vivre.

But my unexpected favourite has been Colombia, where I started and finished (by economic accident: Bogotá was simply the cheapest way of flying to South America). A country that feels on the up after its turbulent recent past, still with challenges, but full of energetic, educated, friendly people, many of them young and positive. A civilised, proper country, that has a bit of everything: jungle, coast, beaches (Atlantic and Pacific), mountains, thriving cultured cities, a decent and developing food and drink scene – a proper country, that's making strides all the time. There's plenty of reasons to visit other places around the continent, but if I was looking for somewhere to live and work, or study Spanish for a few months, it'd be here.

Anyway, that's all for me for this blog. I'm just looking forward to getting home. That's quite enough travel for now. But stay tuned for me cycling Sri Lanka in January: yep, is coming soon...

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