Bogota - A place of my own

Journal 9: Adventures in and around Bogota


After arriving in Bogota, I checked into the Musicology Hostel, called up Paola, and went for sushi.  2 hours later we went back out for Peruvian style ceviche.  City life was looking good.  I would stay at the hostel for 6 days, and while I spent most of this time working, looking for apartments, or hanging out with Paola, I did meet a few interesting cats:

Ryan: a New Hampshire native who drove his Landrover down from eastern Canada.  He runs the website and is affiliated with the Overland Group, a rugged group of adventurers who test and review outdoor/adventure products.  Sounds like an avenue for Last Man Power.

Crystal: a dread-locked vegan yogabuff from Minnesota who has decided to travel South America in search of a new home.  We would meet back up later once I got my apartment and had a nice little jam session in the living room, along with some world-class veggie cuisine.

Vanessa: A cool Bogota native artsy type with tons of insight into Bogota/Colombia politics.  She took us for a long walk around the city and ultimately to a hip party where I met Stephen who put me on contact with Martin and Amita who subleased their apartment to me.  It always pays to take a walk with strangers!

The Apartment

There were a number of reasons I decided to rent and apartment and stick around Bogota for a little while.  First, there’s Paola.  We’d met in Valledupar and having hit it off, I wanted to hang around Bogota to spend some time with her.  It was the holidays, and I wanted to be with someone I cared about and communicated well with.  Second, there were business opportunities here.  As the capital city of Colombia, Bogota was bound to be a good spot for marketing the Propertyshelf MLS platform.  Third, the rainy season was coming, and I wasn’t eager to do a lot of biking in bad weather.  But perhaps most important was my desire to have a little space for myself.  It had been 4 months of camping and the thought of my own kitchen, bedroom, and workspace.  Well, all that sounded awesome to me.

So I landed this apartment, fully furnished, for $550/month on a two-month sublease.    Its got a projector for movies, queen bed, office, a hammock for afternoon reading/napping, stereo…everything that I could want and then some.  Thanks Martin!


Zipaquira is a small town about 30kms north of Bogota that has become one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations, due to the Catedral de Sal--an incredible underground Cathedral constructed within a salt mine.  It does not disappoint.  Paola and I had a blast exploring the cathedral itself, the surrounding salt mine, and riding the miniature train up and down the mountain.  Given that climate here is determined primarily by elevation and not so much by the calendar year, walking through the cathedral, and seeing the nativity scenes inside were a pleasant reminder that Christmas was just around the corner.

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