Let me start by apologising for spelling Colombia incorrectly on previous posts. I think I’ve corrected all the mistakes (I hope). Also, the name of the tour doesn’t really reflect the actual locations, since it contains two South American, one Caribbean and three Central American countries. I’ve heard multiple names for the tour, none of which are quite correct for all the countries involved, so I’m going to stick with this name for the sake of consistency. Once again, sorry if any people don’t like the tour name…
Update: I switched to “Latin America”, since this fits more of the countries (5/6). 🙂
I was sent a bunch of security notices before traveling to Columbia and I must admit I started to feel very nervous. As it turned out I had nothing to be worried about. Like most places around the world, if you are naive you can get into trouble, but if you take sensible precautions you will be fine. During my stay in Cali I had a great time and never once felt unsafe.
One of my lasting memories of Cali will probably be the fruit. I ate (and drank) loads of fruit. It just tastes so good!
The conference went really well. It’s always a little scary using a translation service, because I talk so fast normally. I tried really hard to keep things slow and not waffle too much. I hope I managed it. People were a little reluctant to ask questions in the sessions, but several people came up to me later to ask questions after each session.
Robin was a great host and made sure we had a good time. I’d like to send a big thank you to him and everyone else at the conference that made it go so smoothly. Also a big thank you to the ACE program and the tour organisers, without whom this would not be possible!
I’m not too great with a camera, but I did take some photos.
The journey from Birmingham to Cali (Colombia) was very long!
It started with a quick flight across to Amsterdam and a 1.5 hour wait for my connection to Panama. The flight to Panama took about 11 hours. It wasn’t a bad flight, but it felt super-long because I knew it wasn’t the last flight of the day. I had a 4+ hour wait at Panama for the final flight to Cali.
Panama airport is pretty small and not really the place to hang around for 4 hours. Just about the only entertainment was watching the “junk in the trunk” that was on display everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. It seemed like everywhere I looked was something that made Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce look like they had flat asses…
The final flight to Cali was over pretty quick. I landed and there was a guy waiting to take me to the hotel. I checked in at about midnight, and got to bed at about 01:00 local time, making it a very long and tiring day. Unfortunately, I woke at 04:00 and I’m typing this at 05:30. Today is the beginning of the jet-lag wars… I must remember to grab any opportunity to sleep, no matter how small.
Tomorrow (Monday) is my Birthday and also the day I fly out to Colombia to start the OTN Tour of Latin America. On the positive side, the timezone changes make my birthday last quite a few hours longer. On the negative side, I’m going to spend 14 hours in a plane and 8 hours in airports. Good job I don’t really do Birthdays…. 🙂
I’m still feeling quite nervous, because it’s a complicated trip. I’ve been delaying packing a long as possible, because packing is the sign that it’s really happening. I’m out all day today, so I will have to do some adrenalin packing tonight or early tomorrow morning. Adrenaline packing is always the best approach in my opinion. 🙂
Not surprisingly, two and a bit weeks on a plane will make me pretty slow at answering questions, so please don’t have a cow if I take some time to respond. Remember, you get what you pay for and I do this for free. 🙂
All the flights and hotels are booked, so it now feels very real. In a little over a week I will be taking part in the OTN Tour of Latin America.
I’m a little nervous because there are so many legs in such a short time. The tour lasts 13 days. In that time I’ll be taking 11 flights and visiting 6 locations.
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Costa Rica
I feel my stomach twisting as I look at the list. With so many locations in such a short time, the possibility of hiccups in transit seems rather high. Miss one connection and things get tricky…
I’m looking forward to meeting people, but I would be a liar if I said I’m happy about spending 2 weeks on a plane. 🙂