Click on any image below to see my photo journal from my third week in Bogota.
I banged my knee the day before and couldn’t really skate this day. So I practiced making my board levitate with my mind…
One of the best parts about sunday’s here is when they close the main streets to cars. The entire place is quiet, and you can hear people speaking and laughing. If only every day was Domingo!
This was just one of those moments where I am walking through the city and it is an automatic reaction to just take a picture. The juxtaposition between the bum passed out from Saturday night and the nuns walking at midday on Sunday made me chuckle.
At calle 23 y 15 there is a pretty awesome plaza where all the skaters meet up on Sunday. I met the OnBoard team there and went skating with them. This time we stayed downtown and it was awesome just be in a big city and skate around without any hassles for cops or security guards.
This has always been one of my favorite tricks. Especially when you pop out in the middle.
If your memories from when you grew up skating don’t include shoes like this, then you just don’t get it. This is Skateboarding, this is Bogota.
Just warming up at the spot. The street art continues to impress me.
John has a pretty bad heel bruise so he couldn’t really skate too hard, but it’s hard not to just want to throw down some sort of trick when the session is heated!
Sitting with the crew watching the film session go down. As a Canadian skater the rough ground doesn’t really bother me at all, but I could see how some of the softer California skate pro’s might have a hard time here.
This was the best place to wake up to, get a coffee, and write. That was until the construction next door began 12 hour shifts using a jackhammer. Unfortunately, this is part of the reason I must move on. I really did love it here.
And we are laughing because describing how you want your haircut in a foreign language is pretty damn funny. She did a great job for $4 though!
Click on any image below to see my photo journal from week 2 in Bogota.
Arepa and Queso ~ Cheap, easy and delicious.
I tried to ask this guy if his fruit was organic. He was almost seemed ashamed the way he explained that no, it was not “organic”. But then my friend clarified that what he meant was, no it had not been fertilized with “organic” chemicals. His fruit just grew naturally on his family’s farm. I’ll take two of everything please!
I have been doing my best to take advantage of all the delicious and nutritious fresh fruit they have here. For less than $1 this freshly sliced mango is too easy to not begin my day with.
And the award for the best cup of coffee I have yet to find in Bogota goes to these Coffee Jeeps. For $1.25 you can’t beat it.
Here is another one of the Coffee Jeeps. They’ve got the good stuff!
A lot of people would probably look at this guy and think “What a lazy bum”. They may be right, but I also see his tranquility in another way. How many westerners could just feel relaxed enough to take a nap in the sun? Not many… So kudos to the street sleepers and their relaxed sensibility.
Some people are soothed by the sound of the ocean, some like ambient white noise, and others prefer the constant sounds of a busy street. Hey whatever work right?
For now the Sheaffer Delta Grip is my pen of choice. Although I am really excited about some of the ideas I have for making my own pen in the future.
Sometimes I just write…And sometimes I just end up with messy hands. Yes, I am still part boy.
I chose to ask a woman wearing high heels to take my picture with my Iphone. I figured of all the people walking the streets, a young woman in heels would probably not take off with my phone. What if she did? Well I would could just chase her down! I think I am probably thinking about how funny that would be without showing right as this photo is being taken.
It keeps amazing me how much a wall painted like this breathes life into a city. It is so much more “alive” than if it was just left gray cement.
More Street art!
The Street Art here tells all kinds of amazing stories. I see different parts of the city with the addition of creative artistic murals.
Excuse me, I am trying to take artsy shots of the cool graffiti.
Thumbs up to a full day of street skating (and falling) all over Bogota.
Usually this advertises the fresh Mojitos, or Margaritas you can find in the Masaya bar, but this night it was Orlando’s Exposition.
Maybe it is just because I am such a horrible painter that his use of colors impresses me so much.
A variety of color..
It was fun to watch Orlando the last two weeks go from being pretty scrubby, paining on the street next to the Masaya Hostel to having an exhibit, a bunch of support, and hopefully enough sales to get him a place to stay for a little longer time.
This is him showing me how he blows the ink our of a ball point pen and makes his ink “smear” paintings.
I was drinking a cup of coffee when I asked him and in about one minute he blew ink and used his fingers to create this.
A letter/Poem Orlando wrote and gave to me.
This is the crowd getting on the Transmilenio bus system at rush hour.
Skating around the streets meeting people, finding new spots to skate/eat/write/etc. It reminds me of when I was a teenager skating around Vancouver.
I don’t think this is fair for the people coming out of the bar drunk and hungry at the end of the night. I mean come on look at all the candy and chips! “Yes, I will take one of those on the top shelf…And everything else below it”.
This is our adventure mobile!
The first day I was here I met a local skate named Maximilliano who had a friend looking for someone to rent his extra room. It turns out his friend, Sebastien, actually studied in Vancouver. So not only did I find a great spot to stay, but I made an awesome friend who can use relatable examples like; Don’t go down that street, it’s like East Hastings St.”
Willem first came to South America in 2005. Since then he has explored most of the continent by moped. Now in Bogota, Colombia, he plans to purchase a new moped and continue his journey. The Gravel King rides on…
My first week staying in Bogota I met a an incredibly fascinating Dutch man who goes by the name of Willem. His first four years in South America he traveled extensively by moped until he finally ran out of money in San Rafael, Argentina. He used that as a home base for two years but his adventures didn’t stop there. He has ridden over 35,000 Kilometers since he first arrived in South America and now he just arrived in Colombia to buy a new moped and continue living in a way that would rival the Dos Equis “Most interesting man in the World.”
One of the reasons he chose to stay and live in San Rafael is because of it’s history. Established in 1805, it is older than most Argentinian cities by 100 years. What he loved most is how it’s culture and history still remain a focal point. The city is an agricultural heaven with the Diamante River weaving it’s way through the center of town. It splits into canals providing sustenance for the many tree’s and vineyards that grow abundantly. The locals call it the Oasis del Sur or, Oasis of the South, because of its fertile soil and endless supply of water. He found a small farm whose owners let him live on exchange for helping out occasionally to cover his room and board. From this landing point he he revved the engine on his trusty Yamaha V 50 Degree and continued his journey.
His best memory from these later moped adventures was when he stayed five months in Paraguay. In the winter time, it is not practical to travel in the south of Argentina because of the weather. So he chose to stay in Paraguay until the roads became passable again. He told me he doesn’t think people really know Paraguay, yet after 5 months there he came to quit enjoy the country. I asked him why and he told me it was because of the way the people won him over with their hospitality. That’s saying a lot because over the course of the those two years he made trips from San Rafael to; Suriname, French Guinea, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. He loves them all, but for Willem Paraguay is a special .
So why is he back in Colombia now? 33 years ago he was here for the first time and met some friends who he wants to try to reconnect with. For me that sounds like an awesome adventure to be on. It would be like if I went back to South Africa in 2047 and looked up some of the people I became friends with last year. Whether they reconnect or not, it is clear Willem is going to be just fine on his Colombian adventure. We sit outside in the courtyard of our hostel, sipping freshly brewed coffee and discussing all things South America and Mopeds. He doesn’t have to convince me why Colombia is so great, I’ve only been here 10 days and already I’m sold!
Click through the gallery below to see some of the amazing photos from Willems journey and you can contact him to plan your own guided tour by email ~ email@example.com
Bike: Yamaha V 50 Degre
Yamaha made in China (2005).
- 49 cc 2-stroke engine
- 3 speed
- 5 liters tank (and an additional
6 liters of fuel)
- 6 volt lighting system
- Average consumption 1: 35
- Top speed 60 km (depending on the
- Two luggage racks
- Comfort: Good
- Weight 75 kg
Click on any image below to see my photo journal from week 1 in Bogota.
I have taken this backpack to 5/7 continents. I love this pack! Here is the description from the North Face website “A journeyman favorite – this light, dialed, easy to use, 65-liter pack is a classic multi-day exploration pack that enables explorers to cover ground, comfortably…”
I wrote this ten days before my Kickstarter campaign launched. I made it my goal to turn my intention into a reality and I did. The best part of this so far has been the amount of support and interest I have received. Thank you to everyone who has become a part of this first chapter with me.
I made a few hundred bucks selling some unnecessary belongings. As cliche as it may sound, I feel pretty damn free from attachments knowing that what I carry in my bags is all I am responsible for.
Oh yeah, I sold my truck. Never again will I live in a place like California and drive a V8. $100 dollars a tank, I will not miss that!
Here are all my “Important” material items. I enjoy having each of these items, as they each have a purpose. However, I know that if they were to ever be “deleted” from my life I would be just fine.
Clothes, shoes, towel, pants, cleats, and one dress shirt (hey you never know, I might go out on a fancy date at some point!)
All I need I have, and all I have is within these bags. To be honest I could have taken much less.
I finally took some travel advice from an ex-girlfirend. Ok, you were right, taking my own pillow has been nice:)
It all really became a reality when I got dropped off at the train station to go to LA. This was it, the reality was there was no turning back!
My last night in America. I stayed at some with my close friends in Venice Beach. This was a photo I shot for an interview I did that night for witness-this.com I am interested to hear what people think of it when it comes out….
I would guess I have travelled 25km+ around the city by skateboard. Zig-zagging my way through busy streets and crowded alleys. Weaving in and out of traffic and past pedestrians, Through old neighborhoods of cobblestone past new developments of tile. I love seeing a city this way.
The whole city is filled with amazing street art. It creates an entire story as I roll through different neighborhoods.
I am not exactly sure what that story is….
It is nice to see such creativity embraced and accepted.
This is the local plaza where you can get anything a backpacker might want.
This pictures sums up a lot of Bogota for me so far. The vibrant streets are impossible to not be influenced by. I think of walking through the grey, cement-filled city of Los Angeles. This is in the Candelaria district of the city. Every little cobblestone alley tells a story with each step.
I guess I am supposed to feel safe because the city is filled with police, security guards, and army men like this guy. For some reason the army men seem to be the youngest of the bunch, yet have the biggest guns.
La Candelaria district of Bogota. A wonderful mixture of local and spanish heritage.
If you are a skateboarder like me, you tear laces on your shoes quite often. Luckily there are people dedicated to selling just laces about every five blocks. Want to upgrade your straps? A new set will cost you back about $0.50
I met the guys from skatecol.com and it is awesome to get connected with such a rad crew that knows the city well.
Felipe from OnBoard Skateshop has also been an awesome host since I have been here. On Sunday (the best day for skating because business are closed down) he invited me out to go skate with the OnBoard team.
We met up at a plaza that was filled with skaters getting their sunday skate.
Mateo Martinez – Feeble transfer
Jeankita – Front Blunt
They invited me out with them on sunday to skate with the team around the city. It was awesome, we met at a plaza near where I am staying in the Candelaria district and then went all over town to different skate spots. All these guys ride for OnBoard skateshop here in Bogota and they rip! I will post some more about their team later.
I have been staying at an awesome hostel. For $20,000 COP ($10USD) I have been staying in a dorm room since I got here.
My bunk is the one up top. I really love the sliding blinds that each person gets. It gives you a little more privacy, and keeps the light out in the morning.
The common area where I have been writing each morning with my cup of Colombian java.
Want to play guitar? Swing in a hammock? Watch a spanish film? The Masaya made my initiation to South America quite easy.
Orlando, what an amazing human. I can only use one word to describe him, Genius. Last year he was drawing with pencils and pens and a British lady bought him oil paints and canvasses. With no formal training and an imagination that creates most of what he sees he sits next to my hostel and works on his craft daily. The Hostel I am staying in just agreed to put up some of his work in their restaurant for 15 days. I helped him set up and gave him a few presents I thought he would enjoy. A new sweatshirt, a small buddha incense holder from Thailand and a picture of my cabin on Bowyer Island in Canada.
Part of the exhibition in the Masaya restaurant.
He made this piece the morning before they asked him to show his work. I know, because I sat next to him and split a sandwich as he was painting it.
Some of his paintings.
And his drawings.
I am not sure the translation, but I like his use of color.
This is the drawing I decided to take for myself. It is named “The man in agony”
This was one of my favorite interviews I have ever done. Sure Chris Nieratko tried to give me a hard time, but it gave me the chance to really explain myself. Thanks again Chris! And thanks Vice.com! Click the image to see the full interview.