Everything from now on was written in Colombia.
The day before I left, Sunday 4th December, in the evening was quite eventful because a woman friend tried to prevent me from going - she was in my flat and rather difficult to get rid of. It was all a little bit crazy and I ended up going to bed at about 4am. That was quite neat because that equates to 10pm in Colombia so I was already in sync with Colombian time before I even left! It didn't feel very clever at the time.
So after about 3 hours sleep, I got up at 7am - by now Monday morning of course - and finished packing, I left home at 9.30 to catch a bus to Girona Station. I forgot quite a few things in the rush to leave the house, including the Apple Mac Mini which I planned to take. As it happened, there was nowhere to put it in the apartment, so it didn't make much difference in the end. I'm writing this blog on my Acer laptop with one of my old clunky Electrone keyboards which I have used for many years, from the time when I was writing software in the UK. I couldn't possibly use this keyboard in public because it is so noisy but I love it. I am not a fan of Apple keyboards with a very short key travel.
But I was on my way. The previous night I almost cancelled the flight but I think it would not have been possible at such a short notice. I cannot believe I even considered it; I have been planning this trip since August.
I caught the 10.40am AVE high speed train to Barcelona Sants and I had a coffee before catching the train to the airport. I had left plenty of time, so I could relax along the way. I kept on thinking back to the madness of the previous night.
Back in August, I bought a business class ticket on Avianca to Bogotá and onward to Pereira the next morning with a return on 10th January. That is quite a long time! So, I could check in to the VIP lounge at the airport and I had a pleasant hour relaxing there before taking a gentle walk to the gate. The plane was already parked outside, an Airbus A330. Now I started to feel excited, I was really on my way. Sometimes I am just like a kid!
Business Class these days is fantastic! When I used to travel to Dubai on business, the seats were simply larger and of course the service was much better than Economy Class. Now, each person has their own little cubicle with a seat that can be made flat for a bed. I had a window seat. The layout was one seat by the window, then the aisle, two seats in the centre, another aisle and a single seat by the window. The service was excellent but it should be with a fare of 2800 euros. There is nothing much to say about the flight. I was feeling very rough after my late night but I managed to get some sleep in the later stages of the flight at the point after 8 hours where it starts to get really boring! The total flight time was about 11 hours.
We arrived in Bogotá at 9pm but it took me about an hour to get through immigration and customs. My bags were checked through to Pereira so I only had my cabin bag with me. While I was in the queue for immigration I connected with Skype and made contact with Nini. "Hey estoy en Colombia!"
I was met at Meeters and Greeters by a representative of the hotel which I had pre-booked and, within 15 minutes, I was in my room. I was soon asleep.
It is 7pm in the evening so I will post this now and continue the story in the next post. It will describe my flight to Pereira and meeting Nini for the first time.
I think that I will simply publish posts as the opportunity arises rather than try to make each post represent one day. And of course, I will include photos.