OTN Tour of Latin America 2016 : Guatemala to Colombia

laotn16Today was a really tough day!

I got up at about 03:15, a little before my alarm. I went to bed super early because I knew it would be an early start. I often struggle to sleep when I know I have an early start the next day, but it wasn’t too bad. Even so, 03:15 didn’t feel good.

I met Debra at the lobby and we got the hotel shuttle to the airport to start the journey…

Check-in and bag-drop at Guatemala City airport was fine, but the line for the passport checks was really slow and the place was really hot. Not conducive to having you in a good mood to start your trip.

We boarded the plane for what turned out to be a 30 minute flight to San Salvador Airport. There was no big drama at San Salvador. We moved to the boarding gate for the next flight, which was a 2.5 hour flight to Bogota. We landed at Bogota airport on time, but then things became a little chaotic.

For a start, everybody we asked on the plane and on the ground seemed to have a different idea about what we should do. Our bags were checked to Pereira, so we knew we didn’t have to pick up our bags. Some staff members said we needed to go through immigration, as Bogota was the first point of entry into Colombia. Others said we didn’t and should move straight to our next flight. We eventually found out we did need to go through immigration. Some staff said we needed to fill in the customs clearance form, while others said we didn’t, as we were not ending our journey yet and had no baggage. When we did get through immigration we asked for directions to domestic departures and were given the wrong directions. We eventually got the correct directions and started to make our way to the departure gate, thinking we were late, but lucky for us the third plane was late…

At this point our mood was pretty bad. I just decided to shut up, keep my head down and “drive forward”. Debra was struggling not to get angry with the world. 🙂

We arrived at Pereira airport, picked up our bags and headed for the exit. No bag check. No customs check. Nothing! The lady at the information desk didn’t speak English, but another lady nearby did and suggested we get a taxi to the hotel. She told us what the price would be, but we got charged foreigners rate for the taxi. When the taxi driver said he didn’t have receipts Debra nearly went supernova. Lucky for him he “found” something resembling a receipt pad. It’s not the amount of money that’s the issue, it’s the principle of the thing! We said we wanted to pay in US dollars and needed a receipt before we got in the car!

We got to the hotel and there was some confusion over the booking. Debra reserved two rooms for us (one each). They were expecting two groups of two. Not sure how. Then Debra’s card wouldn’t work…

We eventually got booked in, dumped out bags in our rooms and went out to get some cash and some food. With food in us and a complimentary drink when we got back to the hotel, life started to seem a little better…

When I got back to my room, I posted yesterday’s blog post and video, then went to the gym for a while. I’ll post this entry tonight, but I’ll probably add in the video of the day tomorrow.

Overall it was a terrible day. Having such an early start, then a confusing journey, and all of that coming on the last leg of the tour meant we were both pretty close of breaking point.

Today never happened. Tomorrow is a new day!

Cheers

Tim…

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.