1 Week in Bogota: Day 7 Candelaria

My last day in Colombia started with me packing my luggage. Since my flight back to Newark was at 8 in the morning, I didn't want to have to book a car from Tabio to Bogota. I figured it would be easier to just book a hotel room. Luckily, N's boyfriend was generous enough to offer his family's apartment in the city for the night. Either way, I needed to gather my stuff together.
We were venturing into Bogota for the day anyway so it was a pretty convenient schedule for me. I hadn't done anything in the city except Monserrate. And honestly, there's really only one area of the city I was interested in and that was Candelaria. According to L's dad, that's the most historic part of the city.

I said goodbye to my favorite view, ate another delicious tamal for breakfast along with a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, and the biggest cup of hot chocolate served in a beautiful Mexican cup that L's mom had bought on vacation the Christmas prior, and said farewell to the family.
Lilia had warmed up arepa as well but I only ate half and she was shocked because she said I was so good at eating, she didn't think I was capable of leaving food behind. L's mom told her to leave me alone and told me I didn't have to mind her. Both of them hugged me tightly before I grabbed my bags and hopped in the car.
On our way into the city, we dropped of Lilia's son at the bus stop to head back to school and while we were paused, I climbed out of the car to take a photo of this rainbow comuna.
As we were getting closer to the heart of the city, L's dad jokingly asked if I wanted to see the seedy area of Bogota with the prostitutes lining the street. I laughed saying that it was only 10AM but he said that they're there all the time so then I kind of excitedly said yes. He warned me not to take photos, as they'd come up to the car and smash the windows if they caught me, so I heeded his word. If you have a chance to drive through that area, I think it's kind of worth seeing.
We parked the car in a lot and then began our little walking tour through Candelaria.
The morning was kind of misty and I had my rain jacket with me but as we started walking, it got really hot all of a sudden and we realized that the sun was likely trying to make an appearance through the clouds.
We walked from the park named after journalists (Parque de los Periodistas) towards Carrera 2 to a pedestrian-only stone walkway that led to a plaza.
We wondered why the fountain was empty.
I wanted an oblea so I got one with arequipe, cream, and raspberry and treated L's dad to one as well. L said she was on a diet so she didn't want. I honestly don't count obleas as calories because they're so friggin' light!
I just loved the hustle and bustle of the streets with all the food carts, the vendors, and the beautiful architecture of the city.
I'd seen Anthony Bourdain eat here so it was on my list. However, the place was so packed with people and none of us were even that hungry, we just went in to take a look and for me, it was mainly just to say that I had gone, and then we were off.
I ended up digging all of the coins I had in my purse to hand out to all of the amazing people performing, singing, and making art. These chalk artists were amazing.
This plaza totally reminded me of Spain. The size of the square was huge, the architecture was v. old world European, and the fact that there was a church on one side, a government building on another, and flags everywhere made me feel nostalgic for Europe.
The church was gorgeous inside but they were having Easter Sunday mass so we didn't stick around too long.
The skies were blue but all of a sudden, scary grey storm clouds started rolling in. But I think they kind of make my photos look a bit more badass.
As we were walking, we smelled delicious fresh pandebono so we bought a bag of minis. They were so cute and so good. The dough was chewy and cheesy, the jam inside was deliciously sweet, and they were still warm from the griddle.
And then, because I hadn't yet tried buñuelos, which are just little deep fried donuts, we stopped for a bag of mini buñuelos as well. They were light and crisp and hot and I made L's dad model with them again.
Then, L's dad routed us towards San Victorino, which is a neighborhood full of really cheap shopping. It's kind of like Canal Street because there's fake designer goods on sale and people yelling at you to come shop at their store/stall/pile.
I wasn't allowed to take photos inside (no one scolded me, but as I was taking video, I noticed a bulletin that said 'no photos' and I didn't want to get scolded so I listened) but this church is amazingly beautiful inside and I highly suggest a wander out of the way to go and visit. It's pretty unassuming from the outside but it's super ornate and gilded and lovely on the inside.
While we were walking along the street near Plaza Bolivar, I had seen a bright magenta bucket bag with pompoms and I was still thinking about it an hour later so I wanted to go back and buy it. We ended up at the artisan market instead, per L's dad's suggestion, and it worked out for the better because they had a better selection with better quality and I ended up with one with a longer handle that I could wear as a crossbody and bought a mini yellow one for my sister.
As we were walking through some weird streets where people were selling goods on the ground, we saw someone selling gerbils, which I found entertaining but also gross. They didn't have any containers for you to take them home so I didn't quite understand how people were meant to purchase them.
I was also super parched at this point and when I saw a stand selling sugar cane juice, I had to stop and buy some. I'd tried sugar cane juice for the first time in India last year and I fell in love. Of course, in India, it had been mixed with lime and ginger, which made it super yummy. This one was plain, but I appreciated that too, as I had no idea what it tasted like on its own. It was bright and slightly citrusy and super refreshing.
L opted to grab a fresh mandarin juice.
And then, L's dad suggested I try this marshmallow-like candy called dulce de pata. It was so airy and fluffy and delicious. It's made with panela, which is a more caramel-y version of brown sugar so it was super flavorful.
I followed L into an outlet store and ended up buying two shirts and while I was there, showed off the pink bucket back I bought with a mirror selfie.
Out on the streets near the outlet store, there were so many vendors selling literal garbage and all of it was for $1.000 COP (basically $0.25 USD).
I was extremely tempted to buy a puppy and smuggle it back but L said they were likely just free street dogs anyway with fleas and disease that I wouldn't want to take back to GM. But oh my goodness, did my heart melt.
For lunch, L suggested we go to El Corral, which is a chain similar to Shake Shack. It's got pretty gourmet, grilled burgers that were rather delicious.
Even though I'm not a coffee drinker, I'm related to and friends with many who are so I wanted to pick up some souvenirs for those people. Juan Valdez is basically the Starbucks of Colombia so I picked up a couple bags there. I also ended up at Carulla, a chain supermarket, where I bought coffee, a bunch of arequipe, hard candies, and other treats.
By the time I was done with my shopping, it was getting dark and the storm clouds were rolling in much stronger so we walked back to the lot where the car was parked. It was $12.000 COP (which is less than $4 USD) for the day to park there which again, just blows my mind because you couldn't even park for a minute in New York City with that amount.
So we did a little passenger exchange; L's dad dropped me off to where N and her boyfriend were and then I said goodbye to L and her dad. Then, I went back to N's boyfriend's apartment where he showed me a bunch of jewelry that his parents sell (that's their business) and I ended up buying a lovely diamond necklace and a bracelet.
I used the last of my cash, minus a little emergency money, to pay for my gold. Then, it was off to sleep.
In the morning, I woke up at 5AM, got dressed, finished packing, and headed to the airport.
It was a full flight and I ended up getting upgraded to business class for the first time in my life. I had actually contemplated paying a little extra for an economy plus seat but I'm so glad I didn't!
Business class is bomb. I got to order my breakfast off a menu and it actually tasted good.
I ended up getting banana pancakes with pineapple and chorizo. It was delicious, which is never something I thought I would say about airplane food. In all honesty though, I think that it's pretty difficult to mess up pancakes. Had it been a lunch or dinner menu, I'm sure I'd have plenty of criticism.
I watched The Favourite, which was only okay, and then I watched White Boy Rick, which I rather enjoyed.
And before I knew it, I was reunited with my baby boy.
Here's my final video diary!: