My ultra cheap flight from Spain to Colombia was round trip, sort of. The return trip went to London, which didn’t do me much good since I would only have to turn around and head back to Florida. Instead I opted to throw away the return flight and buy a separate one way flight from Armenia, near Cali, to Florida. So Cali was really just a stopping point between Quito and Home.
Realy though it turned out to be a cool stop. My hostal was great and I met a few really cool people. we all went out to a small bar that was known for playing Salsa. I dance really bad but I had fun. A girl I met and I went on a guided excursion to Piedras Azules to climb.
A guy met us at our hostal, we took a bus where we met up with his dad who was carrying two big backpacks. together the four of us caught another bus and then walked up into the mountains, passing a waterpark that only allowed men accompanied by a female partner because of so many fights over women.
The climbing spot pretty but I was a little sketched out. It was more Bouldering than Sport climbing. There were no bolts and the anchor was a luster of trees. On my first try I got close to completing the problem. then Nicole went. after listening to advice on how to approach the problem I actually did worse. That’s what is cool about climbing; each person has their own unique approach to solving the problems.
In the end I never did complete the problem but we both came back to the hostal worn out and hungry. So we grabbed some food together at a Yala, and arabic restaurant. It was so good I ended up going back with more people the next day.
After two days at the hostal I packed my things and got ready to check out. I called home to make sure someone would be able to pick me up from the airport. My mom seemed confused. she checked her calendar and confirmed that I had told her I was leaving the following day not that day. I signed into my email to confirm and learned that i had one more day in Colombia. Thankfully the hostal had room so I could stay another night.
In the morning I got a bus to Armenia and a taxi from there to the airport which turned out to be only slightly more than a grass runway cleared from a forest. Upon check-in they told me to listen for my name on the PA system because i may be chosen for secondary inspection. This airport had the most intense luggage inspection I have ever experienced. Armed military personnel had each passenger dump the contents of their bag. then item by item they were inspected, even my ball cheap ballpoint pen was put under scrutiny.
I had about 30 minuted until our plane was scheduled to depart when I heard my name called. My Checked bag was placed on a table at the front of the waiting area. i was asked if it was my bag, if i had packed the contents, if it had left my sight since packing. Then the agent began unpacking it, item by item. I was not allowed to touch anything only oversee the inspection. I had been traveling for nearly two months and was carrying a ton of stuff, i had unpacked and packed it enough times to know that it all has to go in in a certain way or it simply doesn’t fit.
All of the sudden I remembered that I forgot to take my phone out of my checked bag. I was going to need it when we touched down in Florida. I asked if i could take the phone which was laying on the table in front of me but was met with a stern no which persisted even after explaining.
After trying to repack the bag she gave into my suggestion to let me pack the bag under her vigilant eye. I watched a few people have their things inspected including a guy who was flying with a machine that automatically takes whole oranges and cuts them in half then squeezes them into juice.
Atlast, I was back in humid Florida.