Yes, not Peru this year - Colombia, off to the city of eternal spring, set in a deep valley and the country's second city - a bustling modern metropolis, where currently it is raining! 'Pues nada' .
Due to fog at Heathrow I sat nervously but comfortably in my upgraded club class seat doing the maths on my 100 minute connection window fast dwindling due to 'delayed slots' – I pondered if this technical term had medical connotations whilst soothing my brow with the hot towel offered me by one of BA's female flight attendants as they are now known, plausibly a late 70s debutant with a plummy voice.
We arrived late and with 60 minutes to spare for my connection and I headed off through immigration feeling some salvation at being passed on to the express queue which was anything but, and then dashing for the Sky Train heading for gate D41, 2 stations down the line and quite a hike! When I arrived the plane was still there but frustratingly all other passengers were boarded and entrances were locked down with apparently no staff to let me through. Well finally I found someone and was boarded as the last passenger. Well maybe not such a drama as all was well with my arrival and collection from the airport where Juan Carlos my new cycling buddy was patiently and kindly awaiting my arrival.
My first days here in Medellin have been dominated by bike building, apartment hunting and cycling. It feels as if I have been lucky in all departments:
On the bike front, my friend Juan Carlos has facilitated the construction of my Trek and bits and pieces bike, me having carried the pieces in my almost 23Kg case. Additionally he has kindly shepherded me up some stonking great hills and has shown me much kindness.
|climbing Alto de Minas|
|Juan Carlos on the descent from Las Palmas|
Apartment hunting was hard graft but having had romantic ideas about living among Colombians I now find myself in a 5 bed 2 bathroom apartment with 4 other men, 2 English, one German and the other from the USA – but all is well and I am situated close to a huge sports complex with reasonable access to the city and elsewhere. The cost is around £200/month.
So all in all a good start. I will leave my early impressions of Medellin to subsequent postings but suffice to say so far I am agreeably happy.
Comment is free and appreciated.