Just stepped onto the plane from LA and the pilot came up to me and invited me to sit up front in the cockpit. I said I knew how to drive a plane because Valentina and Luca’s grandad taught me. I asked if he knows him? I sat in the pilots seat for ages taking to the co-pilot. My mum kept on repeating, ‘Of all the countries, I can’t believe the States can let you up front”
The flight wasn’t long, but we had to get a connecting flight to Bogota. We had a rush a bit to catch our next flight and it was soooo long. No movies on this one. When we finally arrived it was 5.30am and we stood in line at immigration for over an hour. One of the other United Airlines pilot gave me a big smile and came up to me with a set of wings! Just like Kris! They were plastic and I put them on straight away, I am definitely going to be a pilot now. A lot of people around me were looking at my wings and smiling and speaking Spanish. I was so tired but happy about that.
When we finally got our bags, dad went off to change money. This was the first of our mini adventures where nothing is straight forward. He was ages. He had to get fingerprints done and say what is his job. Then prove he is who is said he is. Meanwhile, we were looking for our AirBnB address. When we got to the taxi line, it was very cold.
The address we had wasn’t the full address, so the taxi driver and a taxi monitor helped by phoning the number we had. But no-one answered. It was now 8am we hadn’t slept for over 2 days. After a lot of very quick Spanish speaking, we trawled through emails, and we found another address, which the taxi driver was really happy about, but we could see no difference in the original one!
On the ride out, it was a but rainy and the buildings look square and dark. We got to the address and could leave our bags there but we couldn’t check in til 3pm. It was only 8.30am. We were exhausted. My mum said she saw a coffee shop, so we found it and checked out our Lonely Planet. La Canderalia is a good place to go, so we got a taxi and went there.
It was really cool, with side streets that were cobbled and lots of coffee shops but it was really cold. We found a supermarket to buy sim cards. It was impossible. You have to have an address in Colombia or a relatives phone number or something. After a lot of Spanish, and about 20 minutes, they told us to come back at 11am! So, we left not really understanding why it was so hard to buy a sim.
There was a huge church that was on a square that we visited and then got accosted by a lot of beggars. We walked around and found a restaurant to have lunch. I had hot chocolate which came with bread and cheese. This is a common dish in Colombia that is served everywhere. The toilets were all bad and I had to use them… a lot!
My mum went off for a walk and came back with another tale of not being able to buy a sim, but she managed to buy a Virgin sim that will last 30 days. It was all a bit of a mystery about the sims..
Eventually we got a taxi back to the flat. The taxis are yellow and tiny and go really fast. The drivers think they are F1 drivers and take the corners fast and tight. We actually pasted a head on crash on a corner on a hill. Our driver didn’t seem too surprised to see that.
The flat was really nice, with a big kitchen, lounge, 3 bathrooms, 2 showers and 2 bedrooms. We immediately went to sleep but set our alarm for 4.30pm so we could sleep at night. It was good to lie down and I didn’t want to get up again. We showered, then went to the supermarket to get some food for tonight. It was nice to cook our own food again and I helped with crushing the garlic and ginger.
The next day was Hogmanay, we got a taxi to a square near La Candelaria and saw some more cool street art. We spent a few hours in the area but it started to rain pretty hard. It was impossible to get a taxi. People told us not to hail a cab in the street, but we had to. It took about an hour to get a cab and when we got one, he went through every red light and took corners like a race driver! We got back OK and watched fireworks from our window.