Holiday in Colombia (4): Bogotá (part 2)

For Silvia and me, Wednesday evening should have been a quiet farewell to Bogotá after a short visit to the capital, but we had finished the afternoon alone in the city centre while the rest of our British group took an optional cable car ride. We needed to return to the hotel and find somewhere local to eat dinner.

My guide book on Colombia warned that “you should never hail a cab off the street”, but our local guide  Almando had assured us that it was safe to find a yellow public cab driving along. In fact, we found it impossible to distinguish which cabs had occupants and which were free and, even when we eventually found a cab that was free, the driver did not want to take us so far. 

At last, we located a cab that was free and would take us, but the driver in his black leather coat performed frequent violent manoeuvres in the city centre and, then when he was out of the centre, added incredible speed to his wildly swinging lunges. All this was without any seat belts and with the car radio at screaming volume. Our wild journey took a full hour but only cost 20,000 pesos (about £5). 

As soon as we were in our hotel room, Silvia used the toilet and then found that she had locked herself in the bathroom because the lock had broken The short version of this adventure is that it took four men (a floor attendant, a repair guy, a security person, and the hotel manager), the removal of the door handle and lock, the breaking out of the door frame, and almost three-quarters of an hour before Silvia was freed. 

We were of course offered a new room but declined this suggestion since we were leaving early next morning. However. I did propose to the manager that we be given a free dinner for our troubles and so it was that, instead of going out to a restaurant at our expense, we had a splendid dinner in the hotel free of charge. We really needed that wine. 


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