Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It was a Looooooonnnnnnnggggg Trip!

I don't have any photos to post of the trip from Barichara to Florida, but it was long and dark, and sometimes rainy. I left my old casa about 10:30 p.m. and arrived in San Gil at the terminal in time to catch the late-running 11 p.m. bus to Bogota. I determined I was charged the highest price (50,000 pesos) because the driver correctly evaluated me as a gringa, tired and distracted. Oh well, my Christmas present to his family... it should have been about $35,000 pesos.

The bus pulled into Bogota about 6:30 a.m. under temporarily sunny skies and I caught a taxi from there to El Dorado airport which is under construction for a fabulous new system, making it the most modern international airport in Colombia, and about three or four times larger - much needed! So I was ready to get into lines by 8 a.m. Only they weren't ready for me! The international flights -  most of them - leave after lunch and do not begin service for ticketing, etc., until 10 a.m.  OK, then.

I went back to the Beauty Salon I visited last year and they were ready for a customer, so I got myself a hair treatment, nails and while my hair was being done, they stuck me in a full body massaging chair for 20 minutes. I was tired but totally relaxed. Three hours later I went and got into the LAN line and was quickly processed, they took my two bags and no extra fees and I left for a light lunch and more lines for the LAN security final check.

Most of the international flights do a final search of your things in the waiting area for the flight. That's also when the last body scan is done, but it seems 'friendlier' somehow than the TSA people in the US make it. Not 'friskier,' suggestive or whatever, even though it is a frisking of the body total, but it feels less invasive.

Anyhow, flight was delayed slightly, but we arrived in time in Miami at 7 p.m. Now I've had 20 hours of traveling and less than six hours of sleeping as the bus is not condusive to quality sleep time, even though I was lucky to have two seats for most of the journey. By 9:30 p.m. I have my rental car and am heading up I-95 to Jacksonville as I will have to turn the car in at the airport and a friend will pick me up there.

Can't make it... angels on my shoulder guide me to a rest area at 2 a.m. and I sleep there until about 5 a.m. under the watchful eyes of the security guard and then I head out for a road trip breakfast before getting into JAX. It is noon by the time my buddy arrives to pick me up, and I can tell I am getting ready to crash after 36 hours of traveling. But when I get to my FL cottage, I am too tired to go to sleep and I finally fall into bed about hour 42....

No surprise that over the next few days I am fighting a cold... but I made it safely back to the U.S. and I will soon have this cold behind me. Hope you all are having good holiday events and I wish you joy!

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