It was never our intention to spend three weeks in Bogotá. We’d heard that it was cold there, so we thought we’d use it as a jumping-off point for warmer climes. But somehow over the last couple of years we’ve gone from being “homeless and unemployed” to fitting neatly into the digital nomad box, with jobs that require us to be working far too many hours every week.
Our fledgling company, Performance Foundry, is still quite new, but it’s growing well and needs a lot of attention. So, since we’d found a place to work with a good vibe and a great internet connection, we put on another jacket and decided to stay in Bogotá until our pre-booked flights whisked us back to Panama.
One of the great things about Bogotá is the fact that we have friends there. Spending time with them was certainly a highlight for us: dinner with César, a weekend with Julian and Jimena, a sushi party with Sebastian and Lore, and many lunches with new friends at our coworking space.
We spent our first weekend exploring the city with Julian and Jimena: our trip up Monserrate hill yielded quite fog-obscured views of Bogotá, but the trip to the salt cathedral in Zipaquirá was a bit more successful. Julian also gave us a guided tour of the Candelaria district, and we drank hot wine and one of many Crepes & Waffles restaurants as well as spending time with their part-time pet, a dog who lives on the streets but comes to visit every week or so.
I saw Julian again the next weekend, when I headed out on a bike ride around the ciclovia with him, Sebastian, and Sebastian’s dad. Sebastian had warned me to wear sunscreen, and I’d put some on my face, but Bogotá’s chill decided to take a day off — which resulted in some jacket-removal and subsequent sunburned arms and fingers. I don’t think I’ve ever had sunburned fingers before!
Despite the pain, I loved the ciclovia: hundreds of kilometers of roads that form a rough circle around the city are closed every Sunday morning, and thousands of people head out on bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, or shanks’ pony to get some exercise and spend time with friends. It’s a great low-cost, fun way to see the city!
The following weekend, Julian and Jimena took us on an excursion to see the Sacred Lagoon, where the central exhibit of Bogotá’s gold museum was found. Unfortunately it was closed for works, and looks to be shuttered for another couple of months at least — pity that wasn’t clear when we looked online for information! Instead, we spent our time exploring the charming town of Guatavita and eating delicious food at a grill restaurant on the way home.
On the whole, though, we didn’t do too much sightseeing — we had to work! We hadn’t had a steady work environment for over a month, so it was a relief to find MagicVille, a coworking/coliving space located in the leather district. The Internet was so much faster than the other coworking space (AtomHouse) we’d tried when we first arrived, the prices were reasonable, and the atmosphere was very friendly. Although we worked ridiculous hours, we always made time for a leisurely lunch, usually with several of the other people who were working there. Plus, we stayed onsite for our last two weeks — while it wasn’t the quietest of places to sleep, being able to roll out of bed and get to work meant that we were very productive!
Our last week was predictably busy; we celebrated our wedding anniversary with an hour of bowling and Japanese food for dinner, and had a farewell meal with Julian, Jimena, Sebastian and Lore at our favourite Colombian chain restaurant, Crepes & Waffles. Like so often happens, it felt like the time sped by, and we were sad to say goodbye to our friends, our favourite haunts, and to Bogotá in general — though not to the cold! Bring on the heat of the Panamanian mountains, we say!