Where to relax in FILBo: A naturalist’s guide

By Thomas Stewart-Walvin April 25, 2018

Relax in FILBoWe engage in some legally questionable practices in order to find you the best spot to rest your feet.

FILBo is fantastically packed with all sorts of attractions and stalls, but sometimes these – and the huge crowds they attract – can be very tiring. You’ll need somewhere to rest your weary feet – but where? We set one of our journalists to run around FILBo a dozen times carrying a sack of books, then followed him to see where he would rest.

Absolute Desperation:

Our story begins in the desolate outskirts of the crowded FILBo ecosystem. A weary journalist returns from a successful hunt, his bag stuffed with books, and is now looking for a space to build his nest. Even here, a land devoid of chairs or refreshments, life can flourish. These are the places where you can put your feet up if all else fails, startling proof of the hardiness of homo sapiens in even the most remote of locations.

Related: Follow all our FILBo 2018 coverage.

Any convenient patch of floor

Away from the teeming multitudes of the busy pavilion corridors, our intrepid individual hunts for a less crowded spot to enjoy the spoils of his FILBo journey. In the centre of the top floors of Pavilions 3 and 6 there are open spaces that look down onto the level below, around which he finds room to catch his breath. Similar locations, the back wall of the pavilions in the main building and the Gran Salon Ecopetrol, also offer some brief respite – they are hardly ideal, but then little is in this hostile environment.

2. The stairs between pavilion levels

Hoping to find a more convenient spot, he moves on. A gathering of similar tired book-lovers draws his attention, and he stops to rest for a few scant minutes on the stairs between the upper and lower levels of Pavilion three. This is clearly a favourite spot due to the back support offered by the steps, which are present in any pavilion, and the clustered groups taking their rest on these slopes welcome the tired journalist into the fold. However, as the sun makes its slow way across the Corferias sky, he can no longer deny his biological impulses. He must now set off, in search of that most wonderful of natural substances: coffee.

Great if they’re not busy:

3. Indoor cafes

Thankfully for our little journalist, he will not have to travel far. Small güd fud cafes on the ground floor, tucked away underneath the spreading pathways of the stairs to the higher levels, can provide nourishment and shelter. This specific ecosystem can only be found in the far reaches of Pavilions 3 and 6, and yet even here the dense mass of humanity means it can be difficult to find a seat. Never before has there been captured on camera such a perfect environment, so overcrowded. Our journalist has been carrying his books for hours now, and the temptation to open one and read is growing by the minute. If he cannot soon find a space to build his nest then he will surely perish.

4. Food courts

Refreshed with caffeine and moving on in his quest to find a quiet spot, he next comes across the food courts. As he treks past Choripan vendors and empanada stalls in the north (behind Pavilion 3) and drags his blistered feet across lands populated by Presto and Parrilla further south (north of Pavilion 1) he struggles to find a chair. The scent of food wafts across the throngs of people, but unless he can be quick enough to find an empty seat, he will have little luck here. Some members of his species instead travel to the food court in the north east, and while this location does offer seating and a roof to protect from the seasonal rains, it is now too far for our much-travelled journalist, walking alone on the far side of Corferias. The area will be just as filled as these tented food courts, and his time grows short. This truly is a race against the elements.

Our recommendations:

5. The kiddie area

Driven now by desperation and instinct, our journalist hikes as far north as he can, into the weird and wonderful world of Pavilions 10-16, children’s literature. Dazzled by the bright colours and flocks of small children, this is hardly where you’d expect this individual to find a good spot for a nest, but still he pushes on. The energy and excitement of the children might not create an ideal setting to read quietly, but the array of chairs and plushy seating that always springs up in their wake provides a perfect spot to rest. For members of his species with their own children, there is no better place than this: entertainment for the juvenile members of the species is all around, and nourishment (in the form of coffee and choripan) is located only a short distance from the entrance to this extensive cave system.

6. The bar

However our journalist is too young yet to have a family, and so a different environment is perhaps better suited to his needs. Instinct rooted deep into his bones pulls him towards the area where all humans without family, and older than adolescents, congregate. Finally, on the second level of Pavilion 3, towards the front of the crowded area, he finds what he has been looking for: the Club Colombia stand. Here, there is adequate space for him to rest, shaded and covered from both sun and rain. He can find sustenance in the form of cerveza, easily obtainable for $2,800 a bottle. Just as his ancestors returned to the same bar, year after year, to find space to relax and read in quiet, so too do his buried memories guide him to that exact same bar. Truly an inspiring sight, in this beautiful world we call home.