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Parks, Happy Hour, and Midnight Basketball


Wrapping up our time in Bogota, we have spent the last few days enjoying the city and preparing for the next leg of our trip. We have strolled beautiful city parks and enjoyed some great meals in sleek modern restaurants. We discovered why Bogota has the reputation as a European style capitol.

Parque 93 is the gem of the Bogota park scene. It is a manicured green space filled with adults, children, and pets lounging, exercising and just enjoying the cool mountain air and being outdoors.

Parque 93 is located in an upscale neighborhood populated with embassies and people from around the world. The park is surrounded by upscale shopping and fine dining. Despite the temptation, we have managed to keep our spending to less than $100 a day, including the hotel.

We capped off the day with drinks and people watching on the park. I ordered a Cuba Libre and Jennifer had a cosmopolitan only to discover that it was happy hour which meant two for one!

When we arrived at our hotel we noticed a group of women playing basketball in the park next to the hotel. Rather than going inside we decided to watch the game. After sitting on a bench we noticed that there were only nine players on the court. One team was a player short. Jennifer asked me if she should offer to join in the game. “Sure” I said, “What harm could it cause?”

Ok, I don’t know if I blame the cosmos or just missing my tennis team. I seem to recall Ol talking me into playing. For those of you who know him, he is such an instigator! Even though I had not played basketball in over 35 years, I found myself walking out onto the court and saying “uno mas?” Anyway, all I remember is the ladies chanting Michael Jordan, even though the first pass nearly took off my head (I was obviously blinded by the lights). It took me about 5 minutes to ditch my scarf, sweater and glasses and get into the game.

The alcohol quickly wore off, as I tried to keep up. The real struggle was remembering who was on my team! Even though I was wearing jeans and leather flats, I had 4 assists, 4 points and have never laughed harder in my life!

At the end of the game, despite the language barrier, I had made some new friends. As this was a church league, they kindly invited us to services on Sunday. I was surprised to discover I was not the oldest player on the court. These ladies ranged from their 20’s to their 50’s. I was impressed. It wasn’t until I tried to get out of bed the next morning that I realized that I couldn’t walk! My heel was seriously bruised! Despite the injury and the fact that Ol now possess pictures and a video that is blackmail worthy, I would do it all again!

I just hope my injury doesn’t delay our trip as we head off for a real adventure this week to PNN El Cocuy.

FYI: all trip expenses to date including airfare: Sept 5-24, $1,932 or $80.50 a day.

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