Today we went walking around in the morning and had a late breakfast and then went to Monserrate. We wanted to get some exercise in. El Cerro del Monserrate is on the edge of Bogota and the view from the top is supposed to be amazing. You can see the whole city. There is a cable car (teleferico) to get to the top or one can walk the 2,000+ steps up. The chapel is dedicated to the black Madonna. We decided to walk up to get the exercise and the fresh air.
The vegetation on the way up is amazing, there is a pass where the odor of eucalyptus is permeating the air and I stopped to breathe deeply. Of course, I stopped a LOT of times to try to breathe deeply!!! Because the ascent is so steep and the mountain is so high – the air is noticeable thinner. Plus, I have not been running since I’ve been here. It was a bit disheartening to see a lot of really old Colombians climb the stairs way faster than me. There was a blind guy too who was being led up the steps and he whizzed past me.
I was about ½ way up when I came to a small market area, so I stopped to rest for a minute – Norbert went past me to run the steps and try to get a workout. I saw an adorable calico cat, so decided to hang out and pet her. She was very cuddly and purry and enjoyed being petted, though when I stopped, she bit me! Hard! Twice! It drew blood! So of course I started panicking that I would get an infection and the bag with the water and disinfecting solution was with Norbert. I didn’t want to carry it anymore as it weighed and I was barely climbing due to my out of shapeness!
It started raining on the way up, but I was too tired to carry the umbrella and opted for getting wet. The clouds moved down and the view was minimal at best. At this point I didn’t care as breathing was more important to me than looking at the view!
I finally made it to the top and realized how cold it was. My legs were shaking too and I felt old and supremely unfit. We couldn’t really see the view because of the clouds at this point, but the church was beautiful and the chapel was totally worth the climb!
We walked down which was much easier, but my legs were really shaking.
I am glad I did it and must try to do it more often to see if it gets easier. Plus then I can bring our visitors and show off how fit I am!!