Friday....Quito, Ecuador to Medellin, Colombia
Medellin Travel Blog› entry 87 of 129 › view all entries
This morning I was rather tired after last night and not really interested in having a lesson, so we played card games and then Scrabble in Spanish.
Got taxi to the airport USD13. Not many people in international, considering what a huge city Quito is. I was the only person in the “business” queue, and only one staff member for checking in all the people. I was seen next, which was fortunate, as it seemed to take a long time to check anyone in. I had to get someone to lift my case onto the scales; 31.5 kg. It was a while before my paperwork was finished and when I turned around the queue had grown from 3 to about 8 people.
Then I have to go to migration. Have already filled in the form, so very quick. At the check in desk I was given a pass for the VIP room, which is basically like the usual Qantas Club deal, so I go there. There is wifi, no password required. Check my emails, have a quick look for hotels in NY. There aren’t many people in the lounge. I’m told that they will call the flight.
Arrive at Rio Negro; airport for Medellin (it's about 40 minutes by car to Medellin). First I go through customs, where I’m asked in English if I speak Spanish. Si, un poco. So the conversation is in Spanish. Very friendly. Why am I coming to Medellin? To visit friends. Then I go and get my bag and go towards an area where there is a guy with a schnauzer. I talk to his handler about the beagles that we have in Perth. First I have to show another guy that I have the corresponding ticket for my baggage. The schnauzer sniffs my suitcase and then my carry on bag which has in it the computer, a book and a jumper. For some reason he finds the bag very interesting to smell, although obviously it doesn’t have drugs in it. I realize afterwards that there were some sweets in the bag, so it’s likely that they interested him.
Then I go through one of those security doors that usually clang if you have metal on you. As I had my suitcase and computer etc. it must have been inactive. I have to take my suitcase over to an area where it is opened by another very friendly guy who speaks English. I get the impression that he’s searching my suitcase because he has to, not because he’s expecting to find drugs or anything interesting and he really only has a cursory look. I notice that every suitcase is being searched. After that I am free to go, walk outside and there is Mauricio. I give him a big hug; first time in two months that I’ve seen a familiar face. We drive to his home, Marcela is there and also later I see Maria Clara and speak to Roberto on the phone. Marcela, Mauricio, Maria Clara and I go out later for dinner at a crepe and waffle restaurant. It takes us a while to get there as apparently we can’t go the usual way, but this gives me an opportunity to see part of Medellin and it really is quite beautiful. Very green and obviously pride taken in the streets and gardens and there are even green verges. Many gated communities, but tastefully done. Lots of tropical plants.
We have to wait a little while for a seat, but Marcela and I windowshop nearby at an interesting looking dress and accessories shop. I’m looking forward to doing some shopping here! It’s definitely more Westernised than anywhere else I’ve been. We have a pleasant meal together and then go back home. Maria Clara has very kindly given me her bedroom while I’m here. Thank you, Maria Clara.