Gambling with Guinea Pigs…A Great Start To My Trip!

A favorite thing about traveling is that the days go by fast but at the end of each day, it feels like that one day was actually five days. I hope that makes sense. So when i return back home in a few months it will feel like i was gone for 5 months, which is always a satisfying feeling.

I woke up early and headed straight to my favorite restaurant in South America, Crepes and Waffles, where i ordered my first cup of Colombian coffee and a waffle drenched in hot chocolate and arequipe sauce. Arequipe is pretty much the Colombian version of dulce de leche.
logotipo encbezado

After a satisfying breakfast, i explored familiar sites in La Candelaria and around town as i walked for hours. La Candelaria is a neighborhood full of restored and unrestored colonial buildings painted in shades of pink, green, blue, etc.

I wandered upon Plaza Bolivar, the main square with enormous churches Photobucket

and government buildings

I also came across one of Bogota´s big Universities with a campus filled with gardens and tons of students still in class. Sucks for them!

I learned that some Colombians don´t like the Farc. Well, i actually already knew that.

Colombians are some of the most helpful and friendly people. I also had a few chores to get done. I bought a watch from a street vendor and afterwards asked him where an offical cell phone store is. Instead of pointing in the direction of one, he closed down his stand and walked me 3 blocks to the store. Once at the store, i negotiated a pretty cheap phone with minutes. But purchasing a phone and service requires a lot of paperwork and so after telling the vendor that i only wanted a certain provider that he did not sell, he closed down his shop, and told me to wait 20 min. During that time, i sat in his seat waiting. I never thought it could happen but a bunch of people mistook me for the shop owner. It was a good way to practice spanish as i told them that i was just a customer and was waiting for the owner too. After signing a bunch of paperwork, getting my finger printed, etc. i walked out with a working cell phone.


Again, i wandered the streets some more. This time i came across a more unique form of gambling. In the middle of the sidewalk, a man had set up a bunch of cones and places a guinea pig in the middle of the circle. You place your bets by putting the money on a cone. The winner is determined by which cone the guinea pig touches first once he is let go. I lost.

Another interesting event happened as i was sitting on a bench people watching. All of a sudden. 10-15 soldiers with ak-47 machine guns stopped a car and made him get out. A big crowd formed and even one of the big news stations was right there filming everything. He was taken away but i am not really sure why.


Later in the day, an Israeli girl and I did some more wandering and came across the main street. On friday nights, they close the entire street down and open it up to everyone where there are lots of acts such as clowns, magicians, etc.

That night i also went to a Calle 13 concert. Calle 13 is one of those popular groups in South America and i have been listening to their music for a while now. I went with a couple from the hostel and a few Colombian women they knew. I got a ticket from a scalper for $85,000 ($50) and waited in line for a while. Standing behind me happened to be a guy who lives in Pittsburgh.

The concert was excellent and a really unique experience for my first big reggaeton concert..Atreve te te!


Like i said, this all happened in just one day!

Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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