So I made it to Medellin! — which everyone here I’ve asked (which is everyone I’ve spoken to) confirms is in fact pronounced meh-deh-JEEN not meh-deh-YEEN (I’ve forgotten too much of the IPA to transliterate it accurately). Huh.
Flying over the Andes is a fucking trip, y’all. I got to Bogota at like 2am, so I never saw anything but clouds and then sudden city lights. The flight to Medellin was only about half an hour (so naturally this was the one flight that I was like the only person on the plane with spare seats in my aisle — but since I’m sick, I’ll take it), so it barely even went above the clouds, but, like… wow.
Raises the hair on my sea-level arms.
I decided to brave the bus at least partway down from Jose Maria Cordova Airport, because a taxi/Uber would have been like 20-30 USD, whereas an airport shuttle + Uber was like 9 USD. Not a huge difference, but it ended up super easy, so like, why not? And amazing glimpses from up in the mountains down into the city valley, during the not-very-but-a-tiny-bit-terrifying ride winding down through.
The hostel I booked is absolutely beautiful — it’s raining, of course, and there’s a fountain inside the hostel, so the combined water-sounds is hauntingly lovely.
But unfortunately the WiFi does not work in the tiny closet of a private room I got — which kind of defeats the purpose of holing up and hibernating for a few days as I try to kick the death-cough. So I’m still getting side-eyed in the common area, but at least later I’ll be coughing at them through a thin wall, instead of like… the same bunk bed.
But they were very accommodating, and tried to fix it, and when they couldn’t they refunded me the next three nights I’d booked without any unpleasantness, so I’d totally stay here again once I can like stay in a dorm without feeling like Typhoid Mary over here.
And Medellin, the little I’ve seen of it, is so gorgeous. Being from Florida, I’m used to green things, almost offensively lush, so it’s almost familiar, but the backdrop is so, so different.
It also feels hot as balls even though it is only like 70F/21C so I’m not sure what that’s all about.
I also think I tentatively have my route onwards from Quito sketched out! Flying Bogota to Quito purely to skip the potential border hassle, then bus trips from Quito to Banos, Banos to Cuenca, Cuenca to Mancora Peru, Mancora to Trujillo, Trujillo to Lima. So that will be a thing.
Anyway, still not dead or kidnapped in Colombia.