Sunday, March 16, 2008
For about ten minutes, I struggled to convey (in appalling Spanish) to the hotel staff that I wanted to leave bags in a room, that our flight to Cartegena did not leave until evening. Finally, the hotel's Italian owner came out and spoke to me in English. "Ah! Of course."
One mission accomplished. Next, we wanted to find the funicular up to Monserrat, the peak with a view of Bogota and the surrounding mountains. This involved me butchering the Spanish language less, but sweating more. I blame altitude, but it might just be my slothful lifestyle that leaves me so short of breath.
The funicular up the mountain was fun, the sculptures of Jesus at the top a bit strange, and ultimately the path up led to a church as well as a viewpoint. The panoramas were stunning. Friendly dogs seemed nonplussed by the altitude, though they weren't too interested in the view.
As we'd boarded the funicular, a cool Colombian man had addressed us. He looked apprehensively at the two of us, boarding the funicular together. He smiled nervously.
"My wife would never come up here with me when we were dating. It is said that if you go up this mountain with a man or woman, you will never marry them."
For a brief awkward moment, we stood there struggling for adequate responses. Then we both recovered.
"Sometimes a curse is a blessing," said C, reddening slightly.
"His loss," I shrugged.