Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Tuesday 3rd - Back to Pereira

On my last day in Medellín, I decided to do very little after the long day yesterday and my face needed a rest from the sun. Most of us caught the sun a little yesterday; it was very strong. At about 11am, I joined up in the hotel reception with a group of Colombians from the south of the country who wanted to do the same as me. That is, visit the Museo de Antioquia and the plaza with his bronze statues. They were all the same family and the father was very funny, we laughed a lot on the way to Metro Suramerica. I felt very superior because you will remember that I did the same on Sunday, so I was able to be their guide. 

I persuaded the hotel to give me a checkout at 1.30pm so I left all my things in the room. Unfortunately this set a time limit on how long I could spend with my new friends. We wasted some time wandering around the Palacio de Cultura with some very average art and finally entered the square. The father, I forget his name, had the same wish as me. We were both dying for a coffee. I said, "Yo puedo matar para un café".

Right by the entrance to the museum was a coffee bar, selling real coffee - not the stingingly hot water which one normally finds. But I have discovered something odd. When there is a bar selling, what I call "real coffee", (as found in every location in Girona) it is treated as something of high culture, rather as I imagine the tea ceremony in Japan. There is nothing in between - a simple café con leche sems to be treasured. This bar had an A4 sheet with a complicated questionaire but I packed it in my bag to look at later. And to show you!

 So, by the time we had our coffee, I had to head back to the hotel and so I didn't have time to go into the Museo de Antioquia I will have to look at the pictures on the internet! It was very hot so I was glad to spend half an hour relaxing in my room under the air-con. I then went up to the top floor for a light lunch on the terrace. I text chatted with a friend on Skype and about 90 minutes later I was heading for the airport in a taxi.

You may remember that I thought I had got away with not paying for the change of flight but, when I tried downloading my boarding pass earlier, it said "not checkable". Ah, I suspected then that I hadn't got away with it and when I arrived at the check-in, the girl there was very apologetic and said that I would have to pay 130 mils. But half of that was for the earlier more expensive flight so that was no great loss. And the change fee was only around 30 euros I think. So I paid up willingly!
I had loads of time, I found a bar with Earl Grey tea and colourful little cakes. I chose a pink pig. And then after a while, I went through security to wait for the flight to be called.

This is the plane which brought me back to Pereira. One friend in particular will be interested to know that it is a BAe Jetstream 4100. Excuse an in-joke! She says I am obsessed with aircraft. Well, I am a chap - it is normal. I wrote a long descriptive piece about a plane landing in Girona as part of my chapter in Cat Life, a book written by my Meetup group. She said it was boring and that all women would skip the pages! I didn't think it was boring.   "... speed reducing over Girona, flaps extended to compensate...." I think that makes compelling reading.

As we queued on the stand to board the plane, a glamorous young woman in expensive clothes was taking dozens of selfies obsessively, pouting and smiling at her phone. High angle, low angle. A veritable fashion photo-shoot. I turned and exchanged smiles (or maybe the word is smirked) with one of the ground staff behind me. I almost photo-bombed one of these photos so I told the young woman about "photo-bomb". I guess she was Colombian, or at least Spanish-speaking. She seemed to aknowledge me, I can't remember if she actually said anything to me!

There were 14 passengers, I sat on the left of the aisle in a single seat and there were two seats on the right. The stewardess took my bag and put it in one of the vacant spaces at the rear of the plane. Very cosy. The flight was 40 minutes. No flaps on take-off and landing. Try doing that in an 737. One hour and fifteen minutes after leaving Medellín, I was back home in Pereira. Chevere!

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