It was time to ride back to Bogota and Park 93 to get ready to head home for Christmas. I say Park 93 because when I was in Bogota the last time, one of the nicest areas I visited was Park 93. It is a small park in the Embassy district of Bogota and it is surrounded by restaurants and patios not to mention two Starbucks ha ha. So I was looking forward to enjoying all of this.
The ride from Salento to Bogota was going to be longer than I have done in a long time. About 6 hours. I left early to tackle it. The ride consisted of going over a small mountain range. As I climbed it got colder and colder. But the view were spectacular. Why didn’t I take a picture 🙁 So bad at that. You’d think that after a year and a half on the road I would be better.
The road was full of twisties. Unfortunately, it appeared to be a major trucking route and I was stuck in line ups for a lot of the curves.
The curves also provided another phenomenon. At each curve was at least one person with a flag. These people were not government workers but rather people who set up house on the curve and were there to direct traffic for tips. They were actually very useful. The curves were sharp and big semis had a hard time negotiating them and staying in their lane. So these people would stop traffic if necessary so truckers could take the curve better. They also served as a warning for oncoming traffic to be careful. The people in poorer countries are so ingenious in making money.
To tip these people, drivers would throw money out of their windows.
Soon, however, this will come to an end. The government is building a freeway along the route that will eliminate these “jobs.”
As I entered the outskirts of Bogota I could see the storm clouds gathering. I was only 20 km from my hotel at Park 93. However, it was also rush hour and the traffic in Bogota is horrendous. I was barely moving.
Then it hit. Torrents of rain. It wasn’t long before I was soaked as I had left my vents open in my riding suit as it was also hot. At least once I was soaked it felt better than the shock of getting wet ha ha.
I wasn’t the only thing soaked. The roads too became saturated and huge lakes formed. The outcome of these was me getting splashed as cars went by me. Also they became so deep that they reached my boots and splashed over top of them. As approached lights I tried to time things so I wouldn’t have to stop in the lakes.
It took me well over a hour to ride the 20 km to the hotel.
Once I arrived I dried off. For the next week I could enjoy Park 93. During the day I went to Starbucks to work and sit in the park for a bit.
At night the park turned into a Christmas fairytale.
I wish we had similar parks back home. When it comes to socialization the Central Americans and Colombians have us beat with there plazas and parks to hang out at and enjoy a coffee and talking to people.
Speaking of socialization, that is the one thing I miss while riding. It came to the forefront one night as I walked around Park 93. The restaurant patios were filled with people laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Even though I am not the most social person, I miss that and I suppose it being Christmas time brought it more home. I got pretty down.
This has happened periodically throughout my adventure. Social encounters are brief due going from one place to another. They are also rather limited due to the language barrier. One thing I should have done is learned Spanish before heading out. But even if I meet up with someone who speaks english, the conversation is fairly superficial. As a result, small things like a smile become important. Perhaps it is lucky I’m not that social to begin with or it would hit me harder.
Soon I would be heading home for Christmas though.
Motos y Servitecas de Colombia
If you remember, in Jardin I dropped my motorcycle and broke off my mirror. A place recommended by one of the blogs I read was Motos y Servitecas de Colombia. This place is a bit of a hole in the wall but the service was amazing. They were so friendly and fixed my mirror right away. They even detailed my motorcycle. I would highly recommend this place.
The one issue to take care of before I flew home was storing my motorcycle. I was very fortunate that a person I went to college with knew a person whose father lived in Bogota. As a result I made arrangements to store my motorcycle at his place. It worked out perfect. Now I was ready to go home and see my kids and friends.
My Route on December 2, 2017
My Location from December 3 to 6, 2017
In preparation to fly home early in the morning, I moved to a hotel close to the airport.