When we decided on Colombia as a destination, one of the first things that we did was to watch Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” for Colombia. After that, we immediately knew that we wanted try a round of tejo (a much more fun version of cornhole because instead of tossing towards boards with holes in them you throw at a box full of clay that has gunpowder on it).
Our first step upon arriving in Bogota was to find a place to play. We chose Club de Tejo La 76, about 20 minutes outside of La Candelaria/downtown. The cost was 50,000 Colombian pesos (or $15 USD) for 1 hour of play.
Then, we picked out of tejos. Just like bowling balls, they are all different weights. Finally we got the most important equipment: beer. The seemingly mandatory cerveza was $2,500 Colombian pesos (or .87 cents USD). Beer and tejo go hand-in-hand; the locals playing next to us had a beer in one hand while throwing the tejo with the other.
The helpful employee from Club de Tejo La 76 took us upstairs to the beginners area (downstairs the court was about 3x as long) and showed us how to play. He explained the rules and stuck around long enough to make sure our tejos didn’t go flying toward someone’s head. The room was filled with the sounds of people speaking Spanish, laughter, and the occasional boom of gunpowder.
Tim, of course, became an expert after just a few throws. His tejo hit the paper mecha (the little triangular packet filled with gunpowder) and the club exploded with sound.
We paused for a picture while the group of local men next to us congratulated Tim on his hit. Everyone in the club was extremely friendly. Maybe it was the beer… But it seemed like all the locals enjoyed laughing at the gringos who were attempting to play their pastime.
The best part of playing tejo? You don’t even have to leave the court to go to the bathroom. Why don’t all sports have this option?