Bogota Colombia   
Tip: Guides trying to enter before you to hotel for commissions.

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Bogota Colombia Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  008
DATE:  May 03, 2000
TITLE:  Bogotá Colombia   
TIP:  Guides trying to enter before you to hotel for commissions.
LOCATION:  Bogotá, Colombia


Issue 8 - -

For travelers that, DO NOT WANT TO GO HOME!
Buccaneer's, Blockade Runner's, & Adventurer's - Hobo’s

Travel Tips by Andy the Hobo                                  

COLOMBIA!!! Bogotá...

German Escobar. One of the worlds best travelers. 15 years
on the road, and now the owner of the Platypus, Hostel in Bogotá,
Colombia. A person should stop here just to talk with him. He speaks
5 languages so you will not have an trouble finding a common language.

Bogotá is the Capital of the county at 2640 meters (about 8660 ft)
of the Andes Mountains. with an average temperature of 14.4° C (58° F).
What this mean is you need a light jacket at night. A big city, with
everything common to a big city. Bars, stores, noise, etc. There
is a an Emerald trade center close to the center, where people
come from around the world to trade emeralds. Men will come up
to you and open up this fold up white paper, and show you 4-5
emeralds. Than try to sell them to you, but I cannot tell glass, from a
jewels, so I did know what to buy. If you wish German can introduce
you to some reputable venders.

In the historical area called “Candalaria” which is also located the
Platypus Hostel, is some interesting art. At first as you walk down
the street, you are looking at the architecture, and people, and
various other activity. I looked up above the restaurant I entered,
and saw what looked like a construction worker, on top of the
building. But he had a strange green color. I looked closer and
realized that it was a statue. Across the street was a small girl,
perched on the edge of another building. So as you started to
wonder down this street, you had to pass in between these two statues.
OK, so I was already as normal, overwhelmed with things to look at, so
it took a couple of days of curiosity to ask German to explain. Seems
that a local artist Olave Jorge decided to create these statues all over
along this street, and in various other places in the city. This alone
is worth a stop. He made these very personal, humans figures, doing
normal, and sometimes, abnormal activity on the edges, and tops of
building. sitting, walking a tightrope, on the edge of building, sneaking
into rooms, looking forlorn, at the city. Various beautiful pose,
melancholy, aloof, and distinguished. Some very aristocrat, while others
very childlike. I could not stop myself, and took over 80 pictures of them.
I will have the link to the page in the next page.

Off to Guaduas, Manizales, Medellin, Caucasia



I received help from a person at the bus stop.
I got off the bus in Monteria, Colombia. My guidebook did not have any information on
the city, but I wanted to stop for the night. I was instantly surrounded by people
wanting to help me find a hotel. The one man seemed honest, so I followed him to
a close hotel. The price was triple what I wanted to pay, and he seem to believe that
all Gringos did not care. I was having a problem. I wanted to pay 7,000 a night.
He seem to have a problem. Another man heard this and said that the Embajador
hotel was that price. I followed this man for 2 blocks. We passed the Embajador,
and went to a DIVE. He went ahead and talked with the owner. I understood the
system and knew that he was arranging his commission. This was fine, as long
as he helped me. The room was 7,000 and terrible. I said no, and they all looked
at me like I was unreasonable. I promptly told him, that I did not need his help,
and that I would look on my own.

I than went to the next hotel, “The Embajador”.
He followed me, and tried to talk to the owner. I hollered at him, and told him to
leave, and that he was a thief. I did this for the owner’s sake, not because I was mad. The
hotel seem perfect, and I did not want the owner to raise the price. I got a room
for 7,000, clean, nice, and safe.

The bottom line, is be careful, everyone is just want to make money. This is great
and helpful, if the service they provide is a benefit. If on the other hand they only
make the price higher, than it is not a service. I have found that it is best to NOT allow
people to talk for you. I always go with the person, and talk so I can hear the conversation,
if they want to talk alone. Generally there is a problem, and be careful. Have a
price in mind, and stick to it, they want to rent a room. If there prices change all the
time, than you will have to negotiate. The best hotels have their prices posted for everyone
to see, and they do not change.

I had a taxi driver try the same tactic in Sinecelo, and after I followed him,
when he told me to wait in the taxi. He knew that I was not going to allow a scam.
The next hotel, he did not even go in with me. I did make sure to carry my bags
with me, and not leave them in the taxi.
Trust you instincts, but be careful. Sometimes they will help you, and sometimes
they will con you. Have in mind what is a good price for you, and stick to it.




AmitNegi from Village Danda Dhrampur, Nehrugram ,Dehradu ask:

I am making a report on Eco tourism in the Garhwal Himalayas
It would be a great help if you could guide me in this project.
Amit Negi

Has any reader got some suggestions?


Hi Andy,

thanks for updating us on your trip and providing us with
useful information. I really appreciate that.
I have got a few questions, hope you don't mind....
1. About Malaria: apart from the usual precautions is
                  there any other info/tip you can give me?
2. About: Traveling by boat from Manaus (Brazil) to Peru.
          As far as I remember you have not done that.     Nevertheless have
you got any ideas or info      about
          that journey?
I am going to start my round the world trip (duration
2 years) on the 5June 2000. Starting in London.....USA,
Central America, South America, OZ, S & SE Asia....
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks a lot,


No, I do not mind the questions.

1. Malaria is difficult. I have not used any pills, and think sometimes the cure is worse than the problem.
There are a couple different types of malaria, and you would have to take different types, just to stop the
problem. The pills are expensive, and have side effects.

I do:
1. Read the newspaper and look for recent outbreaks.
2. Use Mosquito repellant, whenever I start to get a lot of bites, or think I could.
3. Use a Mosquito net, and carry one with me. I have only used it twice in 2 years. But when you
need it. YOU NEED IT. Cheap to purchase in most countries.
4. Be careful about JUNGLE trips, and BOAT trips. Be prepared.
5. I have been told that Vitamin B will keep the mosquitoes from biting, but I am not sure on this.

2. Boat from Brazil to Peru. Iquito.
I have not made the trip. I should be making it in about 45 days.
Lonely planet has quite a bit of information, but seems disconnected and unclear. My friend
Jeff just made the trip from Iquito to Brazil, the opposite direction. I hear the boats are very
dirty, and the sanitation is terrible. I am not much on urine, and these types of things. I hope
to have it cleaner than I expect. I do know that the fare is cheaper, if you sleep in a hammock,
but you must bring your own. I will probably buy one in Brazil, I do not carry one, and they are
heavy. Most people end up giving them away, or selling them.

You will save about 1 dollar a night traveling if you camp, instead of a hotel with a hammock.
I think it is a little silly to use a hammock to camp along the way, in Central America, and
the northern part of South America. But I will need one for the boat, and the cabins are
stuffy according to most of my sources.

I will try to update you after the trip. And read Jeff’s comments.
Thanks and good luck. Andy


Australian girls want to know the best ways to travel cheap in the USA.
Answer: Camp, or live 2 person in a room. The cost does not change.

Great site Andy. I enjoy your travel insights and comments.
This is for the Australian Girls who want to know about inexpensive ways to see USA. The Ameripass sold by Greyhound Lines is one  of the most  affordable ways to see the USA. Example: 60 day Ameripass cost $ 499.00 US dollars when purchased overseas. For more information on Ameripass call 1-800-246-8572, or visit
Anne-Marie Rodriguez


Hello Mr. the Hobo!

This is Miss Asa from Sweden. How are you? I am quite fine being on
vacation in Chile for the moment. Hope to be able to get back into Bolivia
again on Monday. (Even though I love being on vacation from my pretty tuff
work for a while.)

I red in your last update news that you wanted tips about work for travel in
Sweden. Summertime (June-august) many foreigners go to Sweden to pick
strawberries. It´s not very good paid (for a swede) but atleast it is easy
to get and it gives some money. You can also buy a lot of cheap things on
your travel and then sell them on the streets. In Gothenburg there is a bar
called... shit I dont remember it. Dundee or something. Anyway, its an
australian bar where you dont have to speak swedish to work and I think its
quite easy to get extra work there. Good money!! Anyone will no the name.
Also an Irish bar called Dubliners which you can find in Stockholm,
Gothenburg and some other places. What else? Play music or do some kind of
performance on the streets like everywhere else..

Hope that everything is great with you!

I have a ticket from Bogotá in August but I am thinking of changing it
because of the situation. What do you think?

Asa A

Hello Asa,

I appreciate the help, I would like to spend a lot of time in Europe, but I am very
worried about having enough money to live there. I thinks your suggestions on
picking strawberries would fine.

Bogotá, or Colombia. hmmm... Is it safe. Colombia is easiest to explain if you
thinks of it as a big city. In a big city there are modern parts, old parts, fun parts, etc.
If you go into some neighborhoods you could have some problems, if you avoid the you
are OK. I have found every city to be somewhat the same. There is always one part of
a big city where it is unsafe to travel.

Colombia is like this. There are areas where it is unsafe to travel. It is not difficult to find
out where they are, and the buses stop running in these areas if there is a problem. But
just because one traveler did it safe, does not mean a place is safe. Travel during the
day, and know you destination. Travel with someone and I think it is safer.

I am looking forward to going to Bolivia. I just found out that La Paz is 3500 meters
above sea level. It must be cold there.

Beso Andy


Hi Andy !
I'm glad to see you still traveling. We met in Oaxaca and with all the travelers you meet all the time
I wonder if you have nice tip for volunteering in Mexico or Guatemala ? I know you must be very busy men
with doing web pages and meet people and everything and travel....but if you have these info somewhere in
your computer it will be really appreciated.
So Happy travels!!
Maybe I'll ran into you someday on small planet
Thank you Byebye

hmmm... Volunteering. The difficult questions. Most places that I saw to volunteer, seemed like a great
way for them to get cheap labor. They made you pay to volunteer. In Xela, or (Quetzaltango), Guatemala
there was a lot of people in the Casa Argentina, Volunteering for various things. I am not sure what you
have in mind exactly, but maybe some readers will forward some comments.
Use a free search program to help you.
Search very specific. I will keep my ears open and forward comments from the readers.

Need companies that sell around the world ticket.

I am traveling through South America. I would like to travel to Europe in
about 6 months from one of the cities in South America. I would like the
website, or email address of a Airplane ticket consolidator, that you have use,
and would recommend?


Someone tell me how to clean my A drive, on my Compaq Presario portable computer?
It sometimes freezes, or locks up. Not fun, I have to shut it off to stop it.
THANKS TO DAN, From Canada. Met in Playa Del Carmen.

Cynthia from Sydney, Australia want some advice on how to improve her internet cafe.
The answer: Update to most recent versions of Explorer, or Netscape. Make sure there
is not call waiting on your telephone lines.

Does anyone have an expense log, that would show cost of their travels?

How to say life is good in different languages

Can anyone recommend work for travels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark?

Place to work for all the travelers that do not ever want to go home,
types of jobs. Where, What, How much?


Please submit


Recommend 5 places you absolutely must visit in any particular country.


Tell me the worst problem with traveling, that you would like a solution for?

Anja from Holland replied to newsletter. She said, "the worst problem about travel, is that it is ADDICTIVE."

An examples of traveler theft, and the solution?


Recommend countries that the exchange rate makes life easy?
Ecuador... Guatemala is good

DEBATES? Tell me your opinion.

Is it better to carry your money all the time. Give to hostel owner. Hide,
Is it better to carry your passport on you, or a copy when walking around a city.

Internet Cafe’s

Your biggest problem when emailing in an internet cafe?

Please fill out form on this page: Please repeat the subject you are commenting on.

I am in on the Beach in Covenas. Columbia. I am going
north or east up the beach toward Cartegena.
After that the countries of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil.
Just got my yellow fever shots.



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