Derby and Atone

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hostal Sue

Flag of Colombia  ,
Saturday, February 12, 2011

We woke up faily early trying to get the laptop to work to no avail however all was not bad news, as I flicked aimlessly through the Colombian tv channel network I was delighted to find the Manchester Derby on one of the channels, so I got to lounge about in bed, drinking the free coffee at the hostel watching the game and listening to the commentator singing his way through the commentary, yes literally singing the United and City songs in Spanish, thankfully for us a wonder goal from Rooney saved the day and started the day off on a positive note, although I probably woke the whole hostel shouting at the tv a little too much.

We had decided to try and get to the Salt Cathedral today which sounded like a bit of a mission. We had looked at some tours but they were all very expensive both for the Salt Cathedral and the city tours. We therefore opted for the tried an tested DIY method, involving the tram network (although this is only a bus here really) then a bus to get to another town outside of Bogota, before trying to find our way across the town to the Cathedral site itself. Despite only having a general idea where we would find the right tram line we found it ok, but managed to watch in interest as a local ´head the ball´ tried to smash up the back door of one of the buses stuck in traffic he kept trying to force the door open but we still have no idea why. We got on the metro and for a price of 50p each it was a steal and we got to see a lot more of this vast city, which still wasn´t growing on us. We got seperated quite early on in the trip as the bus was heaving and I opted to stand up to let an old dear sit down.

The main highlight of the metro was another local tramp who had a slightly different way of trying to get your small change than any others we have seen on our trip, when the lights turned to red he ran over to a car with a window that was slightly open and held his hand through the window, the driver declined so he then threatend to smash up his car and started punching his window before putting his hand out again for change. The driver declined again so the tramp pulled out a knife and tried to get it through the window causing the driver to accelerate into the middle of the road despite the lights being on red a busy intersection nearly causing a crash which with two young kids in the back wouldnt have been great. The tramp lost interest and started exactly the same trick on another car. Please, at least try a car jacking if you are going to go to those extremes dont do it for loose change, that is just ridiculous, come to Salford you can probably get a Btec in Car Jacking.

After a couple of wrong turns we managed to find our bus and we were soon on our way to the town were the Cathedral is whizzing along at about 120km per hour. We got dropped outside the bus station and ended up taking a taxi for a quid as we couldnt get directions. It dropped us at the top of the hill and we paid the extortionate 20k peso (7 quid) to get into the place. We had a guided tour in English which was quite good to be included in the price. There were lots of different display of crosses depicting different stages of Christs story however none really appeared to represent anything really, e.g. a cross that is not as tall as the rest represents the Death of Christ. By the time we eventually got 180m below ground level I had already started to get a little bored and was feeling a bit of altitude (back to 2700m). However our tour guide kept us entertained as he kept calling us "my visitors" which he must have said, oh, over a hundred times strangely it doesn't sound all that funny now but I can tell you we were in stitches.  It was pretty good but I think we imagined a lot more salt i.e white stuff, than a church built in an old mine shaft. We spent about an hour exploring but there was a lot of touristy crap rather than it being a church, i.. they sell emeralds in the church! They do have church in there dont get me wrong, every Sunday people come for a service that it held there.

We headed back which probably took about 2 hours in total then when we arrived back in Jiminez set off for the main square. The rain started again when we were at the square and the museums were just starting to close so we headed back. We had a few beers around the area visiting a few bars before grabbing dinner, which consistied of a plate of chips and potatoes with chicken, beef and chorizo with sauces and the local bread specialty (the name of which I forget again). Erica loved it and we headed back having a few beers for good luck on the way. We loitered around the busy hostel bar until the coach left on the night out, it leaves at ten returning at 6am but we opted out. We then headed to bed still frustrated at our lack of laptop action it is like an arm has been severed off its amazing how dependent we have become, oh my god, going home to mobile phones, tv's etc we have spent so long out of the normal world I dont know if its all going to be too much for us, "pray tell what is this 'iphone' of which you speak?"
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