Thursday, March 15, 2007

Regrets, I Have A Few

Someone asked me if I have any regrets yesterday, just as I was having a look at Dan's photos of Haucachina, which I skipped to fly straight from Cusco to Lima. There's that, staying in Santa Cruz for all of a week and not getting my camera out fast enough yesterday when a man on a horse and cart past me. In the cart was an exercise bike. Aaaaagh!

You know you're on a good bus when both of the reading lights work, the trouble is, when the air conditioning works on buses in South America they tend to set it to -10° and so I woke up at 2:30am hungry for warmth. I went to the toilet, the back of the bus (near the engine) was lovely and warm but I decided I could not spend the rest of the journey in the loo. I discovered that I could sleep if I put my blanket (why oh why do they put the air conditioning on so low and give you a blanket?) over my face and head. I guess it's all the fault of my short hair. The other problem with my journey last night was that we arrived on time. At 5am. I took another taxi around various hostels and hotels until I eventually decided to walk. Bogota can't be that dangerous, I didn't get mugged or even threatened.

Bogota seems to be a really nice place, it reminds me of some of the good bits of London, but maybe that's just the weather, yep, it's grey, cool and wet.

So the first thing I did, once I'd slept for a total of about 12 hours (what is wrong with me?), was to visit the local travel agent to find out about flights. My initial plan was to see if I could get a cheap ticket to take me from Bogota to Mexico to Cuba to Guatemala to Brazil. Ok, Brazil's a big place, I'm talking Sao Paulo or Rio de Genaro. So first off, a one way to Mexico from Bogota is $600, but a return is $700. Ok, whatever. To fly between Cuba and Guatemala I have to go via Panama for some reason. I realise that I haven't really got time to "do" Cuba anyway, so we leave that out. To fly between Guatemala and Brazil I have to fly via Miami (WTF?!) I then ask about international flights from Cartagena, which is on the north coast of Colombia, which would not only be more convenient to me as it would mean I could just go one way through Colombia, but is also closer to Mexico. There aren't any international flights from Cartagena, but it turns out it is the cheapest option. And here is that cheapest option: Cartagena to Bogota to Mexico City, my first destination, then a month later Mexico City to Santiago (Chile!) to Sao Paulo, my second destination. Now I'm sure there's some logic to this somewhere along the line, but I certainly can't see it.

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