Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pereira, Colombia and Otun Quimbaya Reserve

Disclaimer:  My 6 year old laptop lost it's power supply after 2 days.  And I had not backed up my photos to the external hard drive.  I am pretty sure that the issue is the power supply but don't want to spend money on the old laptop.  So I got a hard drive enclosure, but now have figured out that I need jumpers to make it a slave, so I may have those pictures by the end of the week when I figure out where to get jumpers and where to put them.  I do have all the pictures from the other days on Bill's laptop and the external hard drive.

Bill and I were not flying out until 3 so we were taking care of the yard and cleaning house for the cat sitter in the morning.  I panicked when I thought my scales were weighing wrong and loaded up the bags and took them to the vet's office to weigh them on their dog scales.  No need to panic, they only weighed 28 pounds each.  They felt like 100 pounds.

We managed to stash everything into one bag each and 1 backpack each.

Off to the airport we go.  We park, get to the terminal, breeze through security and I remember my sweatshirt jacket is in the car.  Hello it was 100 degrees outside.  Bill wants Jamba Juice, I tell him I will park him at the gate and go find it.  Jamba Juice was right by our gate.  We go to Einstein Brothers and get bagels, we are happy.

We had upgraded to economy plus to give Bill more legroom.  We have 2 horrible kids behind us. The petite mother upgraded herself and the horrible kids that proceeded to kick my seat for 4 1/2 hours.  A nice Canadian is next to me and when we get to Panama he points out the Bridge of the Americas and shows me the different neighborhoods.  What a great history lesson I received.

Tocumen Airport was hot and dirty.  (We found out later we were in the old part)  Cokes were $3.50 in the airport.  There was free Wifi and I had an email from Bryan asking how he was going to spot our driver and guide.  I said maybe they will have a sign and take a picture.  We board the plane to Pereira and are the only Anglos on the flight.  We are also at the back of the plane since you can't reserve the seats ahead of time.

Immigration takes forever.  We are at the back of the line.  One guy took 4 minutes.  The guy asked us where we were staying and of course we had no clue.  I finally remembered the itinerary.  Did I mention he didn't speak English and our Spanish is weak.  Finally we get stamped in.  We grab our bags and breeze through customs. 

We go out of the airport to find Bryan with Arley the driver and Jose the guide.  I asked how he found them.  He said he was at the Wifi hotspot and overheard his name.  So he asked them if they were meeting him.  We drive 40 minutes to Otun Quimbaya.  It's now 1 AM.  Luisa meets us and we go to our room.  Bill says which bag is mine, the blue one or the gray one?  I said "We don't have a blue one".  Ooops.  So Arley calls the number on the bag and they realize they have ours.  So the plan is to go back to the airport at 5:30 and get the right bag.  Meanwhile Luisa washes Bill's clothes. 

We bought me a fancy new camera and lens the week before we left.  And we bought Bill a new lens for his camera that he had taken one picture with in the last 3 years.  He decided he really wanted to get into DSLR, he had not taken pictures since film.  Despite a few temper tantrums, he got excellent pictures.  I'm still learning my camera but accidently got a few good pictures. 

We found some good birds and enjoyed the resort.  Arley, the driver, is a character.  I kept thinking the whole time how much fun my mom would have with him.  And her Spanish is better than ours.  Bryan's improved greatly over the summer since he was there doing research all summer.  Jose, our guide was fabulous.  He was very interesting too!!  We could not be luckier!

Otun Quimbaya was quite comfortable and the food was good. 

Pictures to follow when Bryan posts his and when I get access to ours.  Pictures with tomorrow's post.

No comments: