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Full Circle

Day 214: Bogotá

Bogotá, Colombia 
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Don Fabio in the saddle.
Michael Palin - Full CircleWe extricate ourselves and head back to Tim's place. I invite him to come and relax with us over lunch at The Margarita del Ocho, a restaurant I've heard about where horses gallop up and down between the tables. He makes a face and shakes his head. The restaurant is owned by the Ochoa family, who also run a major cocaine cartel. The father, Don Fabio, actually runs the place and, though he has never been in trouble himself, his two sons have just been released early from prison (too early for one of them, who, fearing for his life, asked the authorities if he could stay behind bars a little longer). Some time ago, when they heard Tim was working on a television documentary assembling evidence, the Ochoas took out a contract on his life.

Lunch at the barn-like Margarita del Ocho is off-putting, not only because of what Tim has told me but because I find it difficult to chew up the large chunks of red meat as horses strut and prance past my plate.

To the surprise of all concerned, Don Fabio has agreed to be interviewed by me. In Spanish. I have two worries. One, I don't speak Spanish. Two, what do you ask a father whose sons ran one of the largest drug cartels in the world? Is the weather always like this? What's your favourite novel?
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 214
  • Country/sea: Colombia
  • Place: Bogotá
  • Book page no: 279

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