Sunday 11 August 2019.
Highlights: Paloquemao Market, Hostal Mi Monaco
The trip begins today. My tour group picked me up from last night’s ’emergency’ accommodation at the Hotel Dann on the way to our first event a visit to the Paloquemao Market. Our Chief Experience Officer (CEO) Miguel introduced himself to me and a quick hello to my 12 fellow tour members.
The Paloquemao Market is the second largest market in Bogotá and is owned not by the Government but stall owners. The market sells flowers, fresh food, bakery items and a wide range of of items from sweets, shirts, plants, really you name it they likely sell it.
The market overall was full of bright colours especially the flowers and the fruits. Miguel organised lots of different local fruits most that I’ve never seen before. These fruits were very sweet. We also tried a number of different local bakery items again very sweet tasting.
This was my only real taste of Bogotá which unlike the rest of Colombia has a mild weather most of the year due to the high altitude. Warm weather is ahead.
In order to get to Armenia we took a very short 183 kms flight there, apparently this was the fastest way due to the surrounding mountains. I’ll be back at Bogotá airport when I use it has a transit to get to New York later in the month. The weirdest part of this journey was we had to collect our luggage from the tarmac at Armenia, something I’ve never done from using a jet plane before (this one was an A320) or at an international airport. Flight and airport review here.
Immediately leaving the airport you notice the weather difference probably going from 14c and cold to 29-30c and humid. A short private bus ride and we were at our accommodation at Hostal Mi Monaco a traditional hacienda (Spanish for “estate”) and it was a real hacienda.
I couldnt’ help myself and the moment I was settled in I just had to jump into the pool. It helped that it was slowly back in Victoria something I was thinking about as I floated in the pool 🙂
Later that evening we had a group dinner at the hacienda, the only option given how remote we are. This gave me the opportunity to start the progress of learning about my fellow travellers. It turns out several tour members are doing this as an express tour and will only be here for 9 days not the 16 days of the classic tour.
I definitely felt like I was in Colombia today, the colours really stand out, the people appear to have a lot of character, for example I saw two adult men having a candle light lunch in the Armenia airport when they was a lot of natural light. Apparently it’s just a Colombian thing 🙂