Like many travelers who visit Bogotá, the capital and largest city in Colombia, I visited the beautiful "Cerro de Monserrate", which is Colombia's proud symbol. The hill of Monserrate can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. But to the people of Bogotá it's best know for its spiritual pilgrimage, in which people would ascend the hillside walking barefoot up 1500 steep steps to reach the peak of the mountain. You're probably wondering if I was inclined to hike all the way up? Well I wasn't!! Instead I took the cable car up, ha! But in my defense Bogotá is a really cold city so I chose the warm cable car over the hike.
When I finally made it to the top the first thing I noticed were the gorgeous views of the entire city and the beautiful, white, colonial style church sitting at the top of the hill. I immediately started to wander around and snap away with my handy little camera. After a few hours of exploring Monserrate I thought I'd seen everything there was to see so I tried getting back to the cable cars but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and got lost. Of course that would happen to me! Although, hiking down the hill wasn't the original plan it was the best accident because one hour into the hike, I discovered a tiny little village.
While passing through the village I stumbled across a woman who was selling "chicha" (a typical drink from the indigenous people of the South American Andes) and she encouraged me to try it. At this point I didn't need much convincing because I was hot, tired and hella thirsty so I thought I'd give it a try and took a short break while I tried this unusual drink. To my surprise it was really yummy and it reminded me of a popular drink from Jalisco, Mexico called Tejuino. Any who, by the end of the hike I was exhausted and was sore for the next couple of days but it was worth it.
My overall experience was great and I was very happy to have hiked down. If you're ever in the same scenario I was, you know feeling "too cold" aka lazy, just go for it anyway, who knows what kinda surprise awaits you! This hike made my Monserrate adventure so much better. So if you're ever in Bogotá you must go to Monserrate and be sure to wear your hiking shoes so you can have the same magical experience I did.
If you wanna see what else I got into during my stay in Bogotá, stop by next week. =) Chau!