I decided I was done with buses and done with hostels for the moment. I checked my budget and figured I could swing a plane ticket from Pereira to Bogota AND a swanky hostel. My tummy still wasn’t 100% and I just wanted a few days to recover a bit.
La Serrana has a fabulous connection with a driver who takes you directly from the hostel to the airport. My driver was Juan and he was absolutely lovely! He lived in New Jersey for a while and then moved back to Colombia. His English was impeccable AND he knew everyone – every toll person, fellow driver, townsperson he waved and joked with. I just loved him and his spirit. So spend the extra money and get a ride from Juan. It will make your day! So, I left Salento with a happy heart and two really great new friends.
Pereira’s airport is a trip. Completely open-air and super small, there is not much to do. However, the Tour De France was on and the Colombians love their cycling. The flight is the easiest and super quick. I schlepped my big backpack to another cab and made my way to the hotel. Hotel Parque 97 is the perfect place to recharge. It’s inexpensive and has some of the best beds and pillows! It’s also in a quiet location with really good food around. I used these three days to recharge and do some things in Bogota I had not done before. So here is what I did during my recharge time:
- Got a Thai massage
- Ate some delicious Tacos
- Watched Toy Story 3 in Spanish
- Read a book in Parque 93
- Went to the top of Monserrate and saw the expanse of Bogota
- Enjoyed a bike ride on Sunday
- Went to the Gold Museum
- Watched an obscene amount of Spanish TV
- Got some yummy room service
- Repacked my life for Leticia
Bogota was exactly what I needed. Although I didn’t go crazy and enjoy the nightlife, I still felt like I had a great experience. It was a perfect recharge before heading to the Amazon.