You already know that my stay in Cali was fairly quick, with my Medellin break being a little longer- and then there is Bogota, the Aramis of my tale.
But, before that…
Safe accommodations, a plethora of cool restaurants and bars, and the premier BMW Motorrad dealer in Colombia all led me to find a place in the El Poblado neighbourhood of Medellin. I knew I’d be spending more than just a night or two since my bike was begging for a service and it was a weekend, so a nice place to relax was high on my list. What I didn’t expect to find was a great little enclave filled motorbike shops, genuinely cool people, and other riders (including HP2 and a couple of wonderfully Aussie Australians). My days turned into a whirlwind of bike shops and sights, while my nights turned into a whirlwind of riders cooking together (a sight to behold I’m told) and the areas many nightspots. All and all a most satisfying break.
I don’t know how high Bogota is on the average Colombian visitors list. Beyond hosting the major international airport in the country, it doesn’t have the same fun appeal as the Caribbean coast or the untouristed draw as the southern jungles. For me, it had some family friends who I’d never actually met and because of them, my fondest memories of Colombia. I arrived in a cold downpour after a long ride from Medellin, through hills of washed out roads and valleys of oppressive heat. It wasn’t the kind of riding day you rave about, but it was a full day with the days goals satisfyingly accomplished. After a day like that, the feeling of arriving at a welcoming home was the whiskey in my coffee. Sitting in their stately home in front a of roaring fire while friendly staff brought food and drinks could have been a cold, polite affair, but instead it felt exactly as it should- friends of my parents having and interesting conversation with the son of their friends. Convincing me to extend my very short stay wasn’t very hard. My memories of breakfast with the familys matriarch- a wonderfully proper British woman of the old school who exemplified the idea that good manners don’t have to be cold are especially fond. Actually, so are those of touring the gardens with father and his young son, of the charming nurse who so looked after her matriarchal charge while making me curse my limited Spanish, of… Well, the whole experience. It had been far too long since I’d spent time in a proper family home and it was invigorating to whatever I have instead of a soul.