Best Massage in Bogota

Some things are difficult to find in Bogota. Thai massage is one of them. The closest one gets is from Alvaro Silva. His phone number is 314-357-6656. Email address is sinergia79@gmail.com. His massages are 90 minutes long and cost 150,000 pesos. (Massage therapists don’t usually receive tips, and some refuse, so that’s the set price.)  Alvaro does Thai-, hot rock-, pressure point-, oil-, and Swedish massage. Plus, he also offers other wellness products like personal training sessions and exercise classes.

His massages are usually done on the floor on yoga mats (so he can pretzel your legs and arms) but he also uses a massage table if you have one. Only caveat with Alvaro is that he doesn’t speak English. It’s still easy to communicate with him and he can usually tell where you are in pain. Another thing that I like about him is that he doesn’t talk during the massage (unless you want to) and he doesn’t keep checking on how you like the session (I usually play music from a relaxation app on my phone so I tend to zone out and concentrate). Sometimes I wish that I had booked more than one massage because he’s spent the whole 90 minutes unknotting my back.IMG_2716

Most hotels have spas so one can get massages in fancy environments. I’ve only tried a few massage therapists and spas in Colombia. As this is Bogota, you can get the massage therapist to come to your house. The style of massage in Colombia seems to be mainly “Swedish.” I prefer pressure point and deep tissue. The other massages I’ve had here cost about half the price of Alvaro’s, but they were also only half as good. Most of the other massages involved lots of oil and Swedish style (light sweeping strokes). But, some people don’t agree with me and tell me that they get strong massages from other therapists (but each person has a different level of pressure that they like — one person’s pain is another person’s so-so).

My advice is to try them out and see which one you like.

 

120 Kilometers of Ciclovia

I did it! 120 kilometers of Bogota’s Ciclovia. Okay, almost all of it. The city continues to change the map. So I did what I could on the 2015 map.

The end, the end, the end, the end.
The end, the end, the end, the end.

Sometimes, I’d get to a part that seemed like a simple “stay straight” and follow the signs. Not so. I would get to a part of the marked route, and then nothing. The route would simply end like an appendix (in the body; not in a book). No real purpose (why do we have one?) and no reason for it to end. I’d go down and suddenly it would end. Then I’d have to turn around and go back on the same route I’d just biked down.

Stop.
Stop.

Having now spent many days on Ciclovia, I have three wishes:

  1. Provide toilets
  2. Provide opportunities for massages (along with the food stalls, bike repair stalls, brain exercise stalls, and entertainment pit stops)
  3. Make the Ciclovia employees have maps or at least know where they are…
  4. (okay, four) Make the roads connect!

My favorite parts have been down south. Much more to explore. Better prices.

Ciclovia, Every Sunday and Holiday From 7 – 2

Ciclovia blocking access to Septima, the main road of Bogota.
Ciclovia on Septima, the main road of Bogota.

Every Sunday and holiday, in Bogota, 120 kilometers (74 miles) of streets are closed to motor vehicles. It’s called Ciclovia and although there are now Ciclovias all over the world, it was invented here in Colombia in 1974.

There are lots of signs with advice.
There are lots of signs with advice.

Bogotanos love to exercise.  Every day, the weather is always 65 F here, so every Sunday is a great day to get outside and exercise. Ciclovia starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. There are bikes for rent, food stands, bike repair stands, and a vast array of non-motorized conveyances. Hundreds of staff work as crossing guards, counters (I don’t know exactly if that’s what they are doign but that’s my guess), and sign-movers.

All forms of non-motorized transport are welcome - like these bouncy things.
All forms of non-motorized transport are welcome – like these bouncy things.

I’ve seen more kinds of wheeled vehicles here than I knew existed. Tricycles, scooters, duo-scooters, skateboards, inline skateboards, bikes, trikes, unicycles, tandem bikes, quatro-bikes, strollers, and a reclining wheeled things (I don’t know what it’s called). Some people even transport their own stereos in their bike basket.

Is it a street luge?
Is it a street luge?

Not everyone uses wheels. There are joggers, walkers, dog walkers, and bouncers (shoes with bouncy springs). There are people of all ages and all shapes. Even some with parasols.

A worker at an intersection and various types bikes behind her. The green one is a four person bike.
A worker at an intersection and various types bikes behind her. The green one is a four person bike.

And lots of dogs.

A duo-scooter? This is the first I've ever seen. Where can I buy one?
A duo-scooter? This is the first I’ve ever seen. Where can I buy one?

272 Steps to Batu Cave In Kuala Lumpur

Inside the Batu cave, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Inside the Batu cave, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

If you like to earn your food by exercising, then walking up the steps to Batu cave outside Kuala Lumpur may be your idea of a good time. This is a Hindu site and it’s really not that many steps. Be warned about the monkeys. Too bad that there is so much trash all about on the inside. It is a holy site and no admission is charged (though you can make a contribution, I think).

Who you going to call?
Who you going to call?

Then, eat some dhosa at one of the stalls on at the base. Or go back to the hawker stalls in KL and enjoy.