Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bogota to Cali by bus

Bogota to Cali, by bus
Left 9:30 am, reached 9:30 pm (12 hours)
Bus Service: Velotax
Bus fare: 45,000 COP (1 USD= 1876 COP)
Travel date: June 16, 2014

We went through a long stretch of sinuous road between the towns of Ibague and Armenia; few passengers threw up.  You see a lot of pine and bamboo trees in that route, and coffee plantations before Armenia.  At many places the road was single lane because of the construction work, and east and west bound traffic took turns in passing the site.  We were told the bus journey was 10-11 hours; actually, it took 12 hours to reach Cali.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Workers with fall protection harnesses

Being in the construction business I always look for the safety gear of workers.  Felt good seeing these high platform workers using fall protection harnesses.

Bogota to Cali

Spotted this very man tall man as the bus left Bogota.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bogota to Cali bus

You can bargain on bus tickets in Colombia
We were told Bolivariano [] was the best service to go from Bogota to Cali.  At the bus terminal in Bogota we asked the ticket price at the Bolivariano desk.  The woman said the price was 62K, but she would give it to us for 57K.  Coming to the terminal I had asked the taxi driver about the ticket price.  Based on that knowledge I told the Bolivariano woman the price was normally 39K; the best I could do was 50K.  She picked up the phone and pretended she was asking someone if the deal was OK.  While on the phone she wrote down 3000 on a piece of paper in front of her.  What 3000?  When she was done talking, she wrote 53000 on a piece of paper, gave that note to me, and asked me to come back at 8:30, to buy tickets at that price.  From there we went to the Velotax counter.  They had a bus leaving for Cali at 9 am, and the price was 45K per person. [1 USD= 1876 COP (Peso Colombiano) on June 16, 2014]

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bogota's climate

Owing to its altitude, Bogota, even being slightly north of the equator was chilly in June.  But tropical fruits were still in abundance.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Colombia was very hopeful with her football team.  Replicas of the World Cup cup were seen everywhere.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The trip, in a nutshell

We love surface traveling and use buses in going from one place to another.  But unfortunately in this South American trip, we had to use airplanes twice: once, from Lima to Cuzco; second time, from Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza.
Here is how the trip went.
San Jose, California to Bogota.  Delta Airlines
Bogota to Cali, bus
Cali to Popayan, bus
Popayan to Pasto, bus
Pasto to Ipiales, bus, taxi to border, crossed into Ecuador, van to Quito
Quito to Cuenca, bus
Cuenca to Huaquillas, bus; Ecuadorian taxi to border; Peruvian taxi to Tumbes
Tumbes to Mancora, bus
Mancora to Chiclayo, bus
Chiclayo to Trujillo, bus
Trujillo to Lima, bus
Lima to Cuzco, Star Peru
Cuzco to Puno, bus
Puno to Copacabana (Bolivia), bus
Copacabana to La Paz, bus
La Paz to Cochabamba, bus
Cochabamba to Santa Cruz de La Sierra, bus
Santa Cruz de La Sierra to Villamontes to Yacuiba, bus
Yacuiba to border, taxi; crossed into Salvador Mazza/Pocitos (Argentina); Mazza to Salta, bus
Salta to Santiago Del Estero, bus
Santiago Del Estero to Cordoba, bus
Cordoba to Buenos Aires, bus
Buenos Aires to Colonia (Uruguay), ferry
Colonia to Montevideo, bus
Montevideo to Colonia, bus
Colonia to Buenos Aires, ferry
Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu, bus
Puerto Iguazu to Presidente Franco (Paraguay), ferry
Presidente Franco to Ciudad del Este, bus
Ciudad del Este to Asuncion, bus
Asuncion to Ciudad del Este, bus
Ciudad del Este to ferry terminal, taxi
Presidente Franco to Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), ferry
Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza, Aerolineas Argentinas
Mendoza to Uspallata, bus
Uspallata to border to Santiago de Chile, bus
Santiago de Chile to San Francisco (USA), Avianca

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


The skylight made the room bright very early and then the noise outside grew.  Was our hotel right next to a giant stadium, and people were blowing trumpets in frenzy?  Slightly later when it became very hard to go back to sleep, we turned on the TV after hearing a roaring 'goallllllllllllll' chant outside.  Colombia was playing Greece and was winning 2-0.

Bogota, Day 1

The Delta flight reached Bogota very early in the morning.  It was pitch dark outside.  We took a taxi to Casa Platypus in the La Candeleria district of Bogota.  At that hour of the night, the only people walking around in Bogota's old town were the homeless or drunkards.  A man standing at the edge of the side walk exposed himself and urinated on the street; the taxi swerved to a side to avoid the projectile.  We reached hotel around 5 am.  It was way too early before the earliest check-in time, but the hotel staff was kind enough to let us take our rooms.