Walking, Coffee and Food: Chapinero to El Retiro

The altitude can affect some people, and have little affect on others.  I was one of the affected. I think I am more of a sea-level girl, not entirely physically comfortable at 2,600m.

The affects of altitude sickness vary, but this is what I experienced – feeling hungover when waking up (even though I don’t drink), heavy chest, difficulty breathing, lethargy, blocked nose.

I realised that it wasn’t going to pass quickly as it stuck with me throughout the week. So leisurely walking was the extent of my exercise in Bogota.  But I was determined to still see what I could.

Coffee helped, so I headed a different path north towards Bourbon Coffee Roasters. The streets are so colourful…

There was even a wall mural of street art telling the story of Tom Sawyer.  Very strange.

Great coffee and a spinach and cheese empanada makes everything better. Especially when it’s from Bourbon Coffee Roasters.

El Retiro

The walk to El Retiro was flat, and not too far. The area felt posh.

Clearly Colombians in Bogota are NOT early risers, and a lot of cafes, restaurants and shops do not open until 11am or 12pm.

For an early-riser like me, it’s bizarre.  The shopping centre I discovered was slightly more bustling, and the Christmas decorations were very unique.

There was a lovely view from the roof foodcourt.

Luckily Freshii was open, so I got myself a Superfood soup to try and feel better.

Somehow, I knew I couldn’t walk back.  My body was saying – no.  Luckily I could just call an Uber.

Back in Chapinero

Sometimes, sugary sweetness is the best answer, no matter the question…

But for dinner, a local veggie burger is best.

Airbnb Bogota

Ultimately my great experience in Bogota is thanks to my amazing host, Ramon, who cooked me a different vegetarian breakfast each morning.  What a wonderful, kind, intriguing and insightful person.

And I cannot forget the source of most of my entertainment… a crazy, energetic and enthusiastic cat that is ALL personality – Mono.

Even with the altitude sickness, visiting Bogota was worth it.


Also published on Medium.

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