After leaving the Museo del Oro, we made a stop at the local Club de Tejo, a local sporting staple in the city. To play the game, each individual gets a few metal discs, or tejos and has to throw them in the center of a one meter by one meter board covered with clay. The clay area is surrounded by gun powder, and if your tejo hits any of the gun powders, causing a minor explosion, you receive three points. If your tejo lands in the middle of clay and the middle of the gun powder, you receive six points. And if your tejo hits a gun powder and still lands in the middle, you get nine points.
What was interesting to me is the fact that at this particular Club de Tejo, there are urinals in between each station. Apparently when the game is so intense, bathroom breaks must be quick. After learning how to play, we each tried to become Tejo masters, but unfortunately, I had no luck.
After picking up this new sport, we made our way to Crepes and Waffles, a delicious chain restaurant found in various South American countries. Although we were in Colombia, I ordered Crepes de pollo a la Huancaína, which is chicken crepes in a Peruvian cream sauce. Our meal was delicious, and it was just what we needed before getting ready to continue with our tour to Monserrate.
After passing through the Museo Botero, we walked through the city and came across an obleas cart. Obleas are thin wafers that can be filled with jam, fruits, cheese, condensed milk, dulce de leche, or arequipe. I remember buying packages of this years ago in Guatemala, so naturally I ordered one to try it out here in Colombia. I ordered this one with condensed milk and jam, and it was delicious to say the least.
After taking a quick snack break, our tour continued at the Museo del Oro, Bogotá’s Gold Museum. Upon entering the museum, we were told that it contains somewhere around 53,000-55,000 pieces including metals and artifacts, with 32,000 of the pieces being pre-historic gold artifacts. This museum is also said to be the largest in South America, or at least that’s what our tour guide told us. The way that some of the artifacts have been displayed on shadows represents the ways in which various tribes once wore the golden pieces. Additionally, pictured below, you can see large emeralds, which are known to be very valuable in Colombia. Something I found very interesting was that the room containing these emeralds was secured in a vault and guarded by security, whereas all of the other rooms in the museum did not have such strict security.
Also found below is the Muisca Raft, also called the El Dorado Raft. In a certain ritual, the Muisca chief jumped into the lake along with gold and emeralds as offerings. This golden raft with people on it is a replica of what is believed to have been the raft with the Muisca chief and others before the offering. Since the offering, countless people have tried to dive into Lake Guativita to find the golden pieces, but since the lake is so deep, no one has had such luck. The last exhibit we came across in the museum displayed 3,200 pieces that had been found upon digging up old tombs.
An interesting fact about the city of Bogotá is that the founder of Bogotá came searching for El Dorado, the city of gold, but he instead found the city of Bogotá. Ironically, the gold museum is located next to where his house originally was.
As we drove off to our next stop, we were told that Justin Bieber visited Colombia a few years ago, and decided to graffiti some of the walls here in Bogotá. Surprisingly, he had a police escort surrounding him, and was allowed to graffiti the walls. Local graffiti artists ended up complaining to the government in protest of not being allowed to graffiti the walls, and the government ended up changing the rules. Since then, local graffiti artists are now allowed to graffiti throughout the city only with permission of buildings if the graffiti consists of approved art.