BootsnAll Travel Network

Day 117 Bogota, Colombia. When things go right.

One of my silent readers suggested that I use a title to categorize the stories and to give them some meaning. Well, okay. I personally thing that it means more work for me, but the giver that I am I will try.

There are days when things just donít go right, last week was a whole string of them. Today however, has so far left me with a feeling of contentment, the feeling that sometimes the good guys win. My boots dilemma was top priority. Boots were going to be an integral part of my trekking in the upcoming week and months. I had about two weeks before the Ciudad Perdida trek and there was no way I could do it in sandals. Brand new boots would be even worse. My options were to trek with 50 pairs of socks and my sandals, or to find boots that day. Shopping is definitely not my forte and there was very little desire to have an additional shopping day. The Brahma work boots were a good option because they were fairly heavy duty, plus they were made in Colombia. At worse, I would take the morning to search for something and then pick those up if I failed.

The owner was my first attempt. He sent me to his friend who had a shoe store. No luck, boots but more for dressing up. The other area he suggested was a street that sold sporting goods. That is one thing I have noticed as I have traveled around. The vendors are smart and merged like stores together so when people needed a certain item, they just went to that street and they had most of the stores in one place. If you had a huge list it would suck and I would personally choose a Wal-mart, but if I needed one item it would make things a lot easier if all the competitors were right there. There were a dozen stores but they were all mainly geared towards soccer and standard sports wear. One of the sales girls gave me an address of a store who sold heavier duty camping equipment as well as specialized boots. With address in hand I went to catch a bus. The whole city moves by bus. There are new buses, old buses, and the state of the art Trans Milenio. The only problem was that they were all over, but they used these cartoon like direction boards to describe where they went. It was like those cut and paste picture are motifs but with directions and locations. My only real risk was if I got on a bus that was going to get on the freeway to the airport which I took to get to the Embassy. Any of the other wouldnítbe a problem because you could just jump off. With little confidence I thought it would be best to walk the few kilometers to the intersection and to catch the bus on the other side. My thoughts were that one small mistake could lead to hours of problems. I picked the most beautiful woman I could find and I just climbed on the bus with her. I didnít mention that was my new way of handling direction problems. If I am unsure, find the hottest woman and go in that direction. Hell, if your going to get lost, at least youíll have something to look at. The bus got me to the street I wanted so I hopped off, right after another hottie. The store was a few blocks away but it was easy to find. It turned out to be a tiny shop that looked like it was going to be expensive. It had a ton of specialty stuff for hardcore climbing and such so I knew it was going to be expensive. I didnít need to worry however when the door was locked with a big sign that said open. Oh well, I had at least found the place. I was really close to just going back to the shoe store to pick up the Brahmas, but I really wanted to check out a big mall to see what they offered. My prior visits to Colombia assured me that there was some state of the art malls around. I just had to find them. With very little patients left I broke down and grabbed a cab. I am really trying to use cabs as little as possible because they are direct links to Satan himself and the money we give them is used for paying Hells utility bills. This was the first cab in the biggest of cities so I felt I was doing good. The guy knew of a mall and we were off. He was a nice guy and didnít seem to have ripped me off. When we got there the meter said 11 which I assumed meant $11000P but he only charged me $8000P. or $$3.75 US. Now that might not seem like much but to put it in context, I am paying around $7US for my hotel. The cab ride was like ten minutes. The hotel is for twenty four hours including all the amenities. Taxis suck. The area we went was a brand new development on the West side of Bogota. To the east was the mountains and there was no way to develop more so the West was the new town. There were brand new apartment towers being built all over and in the center was a brand new shopping mall. It was very refreshing since I hadnít been in a real shopping mall for quite some time. There were about 5 sports stores and I lucked out because two of them carried Murrells, the boot company that I had before. The Swiss guy I did the Amazon trek in Manaus with was a sporting equipment salesman and he said they were a good company that sold well in Switzerland. The two had similar selections except the one style that I had chosen was $80000 cheaper in one of the stores. Not only did I find some good boots, but they were cheaper than the Brahmas and I found a store selling them for a lot cheaper. I was stoked. With my new boots I headed home. On the way out of the store I realized that I had no clue where I was and how to get back to the Hotel. When in doubt, involve a hot Colombian woman. She was sitting at the bus stop so I asked her if she knew which direction La Candelaria was and she helped me get on the right bus. Now this was not only the right bus, but it drove by the corner where my hotel was at. Now that was sweet.

I dropped off my bags and grabbed my cd with my stories and headed down to the internet cafť. After a hour of hacking, I decided it was time to eat. I was getting tired of Pizza so I figured I would look for something else. Not two blocks away I looked over and saw something that almost brought tears to my eyes. Sitting there was a display with a plate of Tacos and another with a plate of Burritos. It was an actual Mexican food restaurant in South America. Throughout my years of traveling here and with the multitude of people that I have asked if they knew of any, I had never even gotten something similar. I was so happy I ordered two dinner plates, one of each. They were excellent. Probably not going to win any awards in Central America, but it was definitely the winner in South America. I left the restaurant feeling plump and happy.

My day was going so good that I decided to write this up before the day was even over. My plans for the evening is to spend another hour uploading pictures then heading over to the Zona Rosa. I still havenít made it all the way over there since it is almost a hour drive to get there. Its night time and I am hesitant because if I get lost at night it isnít going to be good. I also have this inkling that today is the day that I am going to get robbed. Its not like a Spiderman sense, but just that I am due and there have been some problems in the area lately. Oh well, at least I would be able to finally cross that off the list. Just in case, I am leaving my new boots at home.


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