Friday, November 10, 2017

Colombia Day 1: Welcome to Bogata


Yesterday was busy. We woke up in an empty house in Sunnyvale, and went to sleep on a (4.5 hour) overnight plane from Houston to Bogota. In between we had wet-eyed goodbyes with neighbours and our landlady, took 1.5 hours to get ourselves, bags and the tandem checked in (the most nerve-testing tandem check in yet), and enjoyed the hospitality of the United Airlines club lounge.


Bye bye bay area

This morning I was woken up by the announcement that we were starting our descent into Bogota, and looked out of the window next to me to see a river of orange winding its way through the darkness shrouded landscape below - The PanAmerican highway! The clouds soon covered the landscape again and we spent most of the descent in some of the most amazing cloud formations. A good start to the day.

So far our experiences in Colombia have been brilliant, and everything we've led to expect and more. The queue for immigration was not short (but took less time than it did to check in), and negotiating customs was interesting but everyone was friendly and helpful. Tip: Having a receipt for high value items like a tandem is a good idea. We had arranged a taxi through our hotel to transport out mountain of luggage and it was wonderful to exit customs to have the driver waiting to help us transport the boxed Dobbin, two overweight suitcases, two duffel bags and two laptop bags to the car. We are not travelling light on this trip! The journey to our hotel was longer than we expected as we were crossing the city in rush hour. It was great to see the high quality and well used bike paths, and watch the mopeds and motorbikes weave through the nose to tail traffic with the jam packed busses of the rapid transit bus system travelling in their own lanes.



Today has mostly been about getting ourselves oriented and organised. After checking in and a quick breakfast at a coffee and bakery store we headed over to the google office for the first of three visits. The googlers at the office have been amazingly friendly and have been a great source of information. Dobbin appears to have survived the trip, so the remained of today will be spent getting him ready to ride around locally tomorrow, and finding an evening meal before getting an early night and some well much needed sleep.