One of the fun things about facing another year is the worldwide celebration that comes with clicking over the calendar. Intrepid Express reader Marc Voordeckers was in Colombia to see in the New Year and it turned out to be a jewel of a night…
“Myself and a Canadian friend flew into Bogota on New Years Eve with the intention to join an overland tour around South America a few days later. Thinking that we shouldn’t have any problems in joining the festivities in a Latin American country, we set out from our hotel in the evening, looking for a party. Strangely the city centre was absolutely deserted and most pubs and restaurants closed.
Finally we stumbled upon a little bar with people singing and cheering. As we joined the revellers, we queried them in our basic Spanish about the quietness of the city. As we found out, New Year celebrations in Bogota are a family/neighbourhood occasion and the people in the bar were about to leave to join their families on the outskirts of Bogota and they invited us along to one of the most memorable nights of fun I ever had.
After a couple of roadblocks by the military, checking for the local variety of guerilla-members, we arrived in the Barrio to a night of singing, dancing, eating and drinking. I was invited to play the guitar and after eventually falling asleep in the living room of our host, we were served breakfast in the morning then both sent on our way with a huge hangover and a small, slightly imperfect emerald. As it turned out, our host was an emerald dealer and the bar we met him at was where the Emerald dealers hang-out after work!”
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* photo by Thomas Keith – Intrepid Photography Competition