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I Can’t Breathe

There were two things I heard about Bogota, Colombia.

  1. It can get chilly
  2. It’s high up in the mountains so you will need to acclimatise if you plan on doing exercise.

I encountered the chill but I underestimated the lack of oxygen. I first noticed it at my first hotel. The lift was broken so I had to take the stairs. Although I’m not marathon fit, my body is quite capable of moderate exercise. I died coming up the stairs. My head was spinning and my heart was pounding away in my chest. I couldn’t believe it. Four flights of stairs left me winded. I barely left my hotel room.

My next hostel was in the colonial area called La Candelaria. I hadn’t done any exercise so I decided to go for a walk. My walk was down hill and my heart started beating out of control and as it was close to sunset I didn’t stay out too long because I knew I would crawl back to the hostel. And crawl back I did! Moving at (literally) snail pace my heart is knocking down my rib cages. I start to wheeze once I get back to my hostel. As I wait for them to let me back in, the endorphins kicked in. I was struggling to breathe, was lightheaded but yet I couldn’t wait for the next day to come! I was going to go walking ALL DAY! That’s what I said to myself. As painful as it is, it’s still a sort of prep for all the hikes I want to do. The next day, I did do some walking, not as much as I had planned because I was doing work and trying to sort logistics but I walked and I could already see improvements. I’m still fascinated by the impact of oxygen on my body though. Things that I could do normally I could feel my muscles working harder. Bogota must be great place to exercise!

The lack of oxygen, balancing work and planning meant my first couple of days in Bogota were spent more indoors than I would like. No biggie because I know I will be back based on my travel plans. Currently in Medellin and the travel engines are switched on as I’ve found my new work-play balance (YEA!) so start expecting some really beautiful pictures because, based on the ride from the airport this area is a stunner. To be honest, I’m finding that Colombia is truly a natural wonder and I’m growing quite fond of it. I’m really tempted to see everything, but that would not be wise. I guess a second trip will have to be in the works ;). Perhaps start from Bogota and make my way down to small but equally beautiful Ecuador. Sigh…this continent is truly a stunner.

A short clip of the view of Plaza Bolivar while I catch my breath 🙂

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