4th August 2015
The breakfast at GHL Corales de Indias was massive – that is if I had turned up on time!
They were sweet when I arrived as the restaurant was closing and the breakfast buffet was being put away, but they managed to find me fruit, cheese, egg, bread and juice.
What more does a girl want? How big would the normal breakfast have been?
I spent the morning soaking up the rays on my balcony before I had to check out (£50 for bed and breakfast) and made my way to the old city to pick my suitcase up from my AirBnB hosts who were kind enough to store it whilst I was in Palomino.
With hours to go before my flight to Bogota left, I decided to head to the airport anyway as I’d seen everything I wanted to in Cartagena and didn’t want to drag my humongous suitcase around.
“Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
I wish I had dragged it around! There is pretty much zilch to do at the airport and the wifi wasn’t working! As the comedian Jason Manford says “such a first world problem”.
Bored out of my skull I did the only two things a girl could do. I had a cup of tea and slice of chocolate cake and shopped in the very, very few outlets they have.
It really didn’t take up that much time but I did come out with a 100% Colombian made, gorgeous tan leather bag by Velez. Their goods – belts, bags, jackets, shoes, clothes etc – are wonderful and their shops are all over Colombia and in every airport I went to.
The flight to Bogota was short and sweet and I hung out in Bogota for a few hours before my connecting flight back to London. I was disappointed in the food choices at the airport (burgers, burgers and more burgers) but did manage to find one outlet selling traditional chicken soup – Ajiaco.
Chicken, potato and a chunk of corn with a side of rice, arepa, avocado and cream. Scrumptious and filling!
Doing more shopping in the extortianately priced duty free shops, I finally understood what the airport staff were saying when I asked whether there was wifi and was able to alleviate my boredom catching up on Facebook (it’s a sad state of affairs!).
The flight home was uneventful. I had two seats to myself which was an unexpected luxury and the hostesses were much nicer than they had been on the way out.
Back at Heathrow, I was surprised to see a handful of customs officers checking everyone’s passports at the exit to the plane. On all the flights I’ve taken, I’ve never come across this before. Hopefully it wasn’t due to the Colombian legacy and was legitimate.
They left with a girl in tow who couldn’t speak English and they were so rude – they were talking about her in front of her knowing that she wouldn’t be able to understand what they were saying. Welcome home!!
Clearing customs, travelling on the Heathrow Express (a luxury when I have an oyster card but one I wanted after 24 hours of travel and hanging around) and getting the tube, I came to realise how horrid, hurried, harassed and any other ‘h’ word (and ‘f’ and ‘c’ words) English people were.
Nobody helped me!
This was such a shock to the system after all the places I’d been to in Colombia. I was seriously having culture shock. Only one girl, almost as petite as me, helped me down the stairs of the tube station with my luggage.
English people stare at you like you’re a pariah if you somehow get in their way with luggage (or prams, too many shopping bags, backpacks that stay on backs etc) when they need to get from A to B. Its like those precious few seconds that will be wasted walking around you might stop them getting their promotion/they’ll get jilted/a falling building may fall on their head/some aliens might give them a frontal lobotomy.
Rant over :-).
After a short bus journey, I finally made it home and had a well earned cup of Yorkshire tea.
I know I will love Colombia forever and hopefully one day will be able to go back. I had nothing but joy from the country and its people and met wonderful travellers along the way.
My misconceptions were thrown out the window and the trip made me grow as a person and get in touch with my inner self – it made me understand me better, what I want from life, what I don’t want from life and what kinds of people I want to be surrounded with.
Thank you to my wonderful friend for inviting me to her wedding and allowing me to experience her country.