Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bogota, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador: Visit to Colombian Congress and Other Stories

[Actual photo of me standing where the president of the Colombian senate sits during a private tour of the Colombian congress. I think I would have made a great dictator...]

After a crazy 12-hour bike ride into Bogota from Villeta my trip was just beginning.

Surprising Bogota
I have to be honest, Bogota was just not what I was expecting. I was picturing a pretty rundown urban mess but instead I found a super modern metropolis with a pretty crazy nightlife. Beyond having to bike an additional 2 hours to get to my hotel once I crossed the city limits (let’s just say I’ve never been that close to death on a bike), my stay was pretty awesome. I need to come back and see more of this place.

Visit to Congress
One of the highlights of my visit to the Colombian capital was being able to take a private tour of Congress, courtesy of a local contact (thanks Isabelle). From sitting in the chair where the president of the Senate sits to discussing how the internal conflict has affected Colombian politics in congressional staffers, this was truly special.

The most intense moment came when I passed by a poster (see below) with a photo of kidnapped military and police officers, some of whom have not seen their families for over 10 years.

Colonial Quito
After a quick stop in Bogota, I took a flight over to the Quito, Ecuador where I began the gradual process of acclimating to high altitude. Check out a photo I shot walking/puffing up the various hills that make up the Ecuadorian capital. While this was pretty awesome, the focus remains climbing Cotopaxi later today. Wish me luck.


Bogota, Colombia

Quito, Ecuador

1 comment:

Debbi said...

Like the photo. You do a great impression of Groucho Marx (my favorite Marxist).

(let’s just say I’ve never been that close to death on a bike)

Um, do the words "Oregon desert" ring any bells? (Well, someone had to ask . . .)