Bowling alleys will never seem the same once you’ve been to Colombia and played tejo. Not unless you employ equal amounts of beer and gunpowder.
Here’s how this little-known Colombian sport works: you throw a lump of metal – it looks like a squashed version of what shotputters throw – down what looks like a bowling lane, aiming for a far-off sandpit.If you hit the right spot, bam! There’s a crackle of explosives, a cheer and a clink of beer bottles.
I experienced my first tejo game on a trip to Bogotá, after calling on Andrés Martínez, a musician with electro-cumbia band Monareta, to show me some highlights of his hometown. It turned out to be one of the best nights I have ever had in an unknown city. We jumped from the gritty tejo courts to hip record bars, via an urban beer garden, basement drinking dens and a wild drag club. I knew then the city had me under its spell.
For most foreigners visiting Colombia, Bogotá is typically cast as a supporting actor, rather than the country’s star. It is the capital, transport hub, and a gateway to more exotic destinations: the Caribbean coast, the wilds of the Amazon, picture-perfect Cartagena and balmy Medellín. Some overseas visitors stay in the capital only for one night. They tick off the gold museum, take a cable car to enjoy the views from the top of Mount Monserrate, and then move swiftly on.
Perhaps that’s fair enough. Not everyone wants to spend time in a traffic-choked, climatically challenged city of eight million people. And it must be said that, at 2,640 metres above sea level, this Andean metropolis is no stranger to fog and rain.
However, for those who thrive on big cities and cultural highlights, time here is richly rewarded. By day, it’s fun to chain-drink tintos (small black coffees) in cafes around colonial La Candelaria and hipster-friendly Chapinero. By night, the restaurants of Zona G and the bars of Zona Rosa are the prelude to a thorough immersion in one of the coolest music scenes on the continent.
Source: Guardian Travel