Candelaria - Bogotas West End
I get to the hostel after a mild haggle with taxi driver and although its before check in they have a really cool hang out area, inside and out, and you can leave your rucksack in the back.
I went on the roof and was immediately invited to join a couple, one English guy and one American gal. We drank beer together and chatted and I felt very relaxed, it is really beautiful on that roof, with the high mountains in the background.
They left to go on a bike tour and I decided to go for a walk. I was in the Candelaria area, totally by luck, not design, the best place to hang out, tons of cool wee local bars, colourful shops along with cheap and more expensive coffee shops and restaurants.
I wandered around, then heard loud music coming out of a local taverna, and went in for a drink. Then I saw the Rob and Rebecca from the hostel and shouted them in.
There was a table of young guys and gals right beside us. They were drinking a carton of stuff along with their beer, it tasted kind of like sambuca. They handed us some shots over, we bought them beer back and the singing, dancing and silly selfies started.
We were having great fun, language no apparent barrier, until we realised that Rebeccas bag was gone.
Now theft has played a big part in my life recently. My daughter was robbed weekly in her business, my friends came from Canada to mountain bike and had their very precsious mountain bikes stolen on the last day, and now Rebeccas bag was gone.
From right under our noses.
We were in a corner, had put the bags beside us where you would have thought they were 100% safe.
Was it when we were taking pics?
Was it when she was at the tiny wee stinking toilet?
There were 2 cctv cameras pointed on us, they could defo see who had taken it if they worked? The young guys beside us were upset too, the police were called but deep down we knew nothing would happen.
In her bag was 1 card, her phone and her waterproof jacket, it could have been worse.
But we all know our phone is the most precious commodity these days, not because of the value, but its our contact to everything.
Then mental thing was my small osprey back pack was right there too, and because I had not yet bought a padlock, I had everything in there, stupidly thinking it would be safer with me. My iphone, my new camera, my passport and all my cards and cash. Holy shit, that was soooooo close.
We all know material things can be replaced, but theft does way more damage than that. I changes how you feel about people and places. I know how I felt in Argyll, so hurt by how my daughter had been taken advantage of, money stolen from the salon, plus her tip box saving for Disney with the kids, I wanted to leave and never come back.
Then the overwhelming support from the community reminds you that most people are good.
I know when Lesley and Paulas bikes got stolen, they were furious at Scotland. What a betrayal after such an incredible trip, on the last day too. They too then experienced the support when their facebook appeal found the guys who had stolen the bikes, everyone was truly gutted for them, if you are a biker especially, you will understand the value of a bike you have built. But again the police, could not or would not do anything to bring them to justice or get the bikes back.
Same as Rebecca, there were 4 men just sitting watching us, someone knew who it was. We were backed in a corner, it could have been a member of staff? Someone turned a blind eye.
I wonder where that gets you dear Universe?
A fact of getting robbed.
It changes how you feel about a place and the people in it.
You wonder who all is involved and who is staying dumb. You wonder who you can trust and who you cant, and it is not a nice way to live your life.
Coming to Colombia, every single person tells you to be careful and keep safe. The young guys we were with, messaged the next day, apologising, saying how sorry they were, one came up to the hostel to make sure Rebecca was ok. I told them it happens in our village, in our County too, I think it happens in most places.
Its sad you need to be so vigilant, it actually pisses me off. (release)
If people didn't steal we would not need keys, passwords, zipped bags and jackets.
How much easier my life would be.
I know it is not personal, I understand we have been conditioned by our ancestors, childhood and environment, I get that they have their own issues, it's not my drama.
But in the ideal world, I would not have thieves, and evil in general.
In the 5th dimension there will be none of that nonsense :)
Bogota is such an interesting and amazing place, but the warnings of others ring in your ears, be vigilant, don't wander about at night, keep everything on you hidden, they may have knives and guns, its dangerous at night and so on.
I have been releasing on other peoples points of view, its the perfect place to practise, because you keep getting them, over and over.
I felt completely safe and tbh they are tiny, you feel you could outrun or wrestle them if push came to shove.
Then I walked out a restaurant yesterday and left my phone on the table........
When I ran back it was their, they had kept it for me.
Again showing me how many good people there are.
The good massively outweighs the bad.
The Colombian people are trying very hard to change the reputation of their Country.
What an awesome attitude, I am humbled by their spirit.
They have hope, and guts and a stunningly beautiful landscape.
I AM excited to see more.