¡Bienvenidas a Colombia!

Well, we made it!  Air travel is exhausting, no matter how long or short the flights are.  It took us a 4 hour bus ride, 5 hours of waiting in Chicago, a 3 hour flight from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale, another hour of waiting, and then another 4 hour flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Medellín.  But we’re here!  Yay!

Still quite overwhelmed by the size of the city, trying to get around, and the language barrier.  We ended up staying in a hostel last night because navigating two buses to our Couchsurfing host´s house seemed too challenging for our jetlagged brains.

So we made it to the Pit Stop Hostel in Al Poblado area, which was very nice.  We paid 19,000 COP ($9.50) each for two dorm beds.  The hostel also had a communal kitchen, a bar, a pool, games like darts, pool, and volleyball, and a TV room.  The beds were comfortable and the showers were hot.  The best part was that there was actually no one else in our whole dorm room.  Off-season score!  The hostel provides great information on Medellín and helps organize tours and buses too.  We would have stayed longer if it was in the budget!  Anyway, highly recommend this place.

Today we successfully navigated the Metro (yes, Medellín has a subway, and it’s way nicer then New York’s) and one bus to get to our Couchsurfing host’s house.  We’ll see what adventures are in store for us when he arrives home from work and we finally get to start exploring Medellin!

Quick Impressions and Funny Moments So Far

Me trying really hard but then totally blanking out on any words and just staring dumbly at the Tourist Information girl in the airport.  Her replying to my idiotic look with the obvious question Do you speak English?  Immediate relief on my part.

Medellín is beautiful and clean!  Everyone seems busy and really hard working.

People here (especially women) are stylish and glamorous.  I look like a homeless bum in my grungy clothes and no makeup.  Might have to work on this.  Or I can use my unattractiveness as a robbery prevention tactic.

Everyone is helpful and friendly!  This lady even ran down 6 flights from her apartment to help us when she saw us wandering around confusedly.

I’m about to eat chicken for dinner.  I can´t refuse meat at the risk of offending people who are generously hosting us.  Here goes nothing.

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Where’s the wifi gone?

So we’re sitting in the Chicago airport at 1:30 am. 4 hours til our first flight to Fort Lauderdale leaves. I wanted to write a real post, but they charge you to use wifi! Come on, Chi-town, what’s up with that??? (So I’m posting this quickie from my phone.)
So just know that we’re really on our way!!!! The next real post you read here will be about Colombia!!!
Bien viaje to us!!!

The Packing List

Woah!  We packed!  Ya know why?  ‘Cause our flight leaves this Thursday!!!  Oh my goodness; so excited!!!  Packing is always a challenge for me.  Thankfully, Zach is really good at it.  It also helps when you have tons of video and camping equipment and have to fit everything in two backpacks.  The solution this problem is basically to bring no clothes.  Following is our official packing list, if you’re interested.

Carrie’s Backpack
daypack
water bladder
umbrella
sleeping pad
water bottle
dSLR in case with accessories
camcorder in case with accessories
lavalier microphone
tripod
laptop
2 external hard drives
iPod
iPhone
Nook
chargers and cords for every electronic device
journal and pens
Spanish flashcards
Chacos
rain jacket
3 pairs of socks
3 bras
6 pairs of underwear
swimsuit
1 pair of shorts
1 pair of pants
1 pair of gauchos
1 skirt
1 dress
7 shirts
2 hats
toiletries/cosmetics Pack
sleeping bag strapped to outside
 
Zach’s Backpack
daypack
water bladder
umbrella
tent
2 headlamps
empty sandbags
camp stove
cooking pot
bowl and utensil set
water bottle
mini towel
waterproof camera
external hard drive
AAA batteries
iPod
journal and pens
Books: Spanish dictionary, Spanish textbook, South America on a Shoestring
Chacos
swimsuit
1 pair of zip-off pants
3 shirts
1 hoodie
1 rain jacket
2 pairs of underwear
3 pairs of socks
medicine kit
sleeping bag strapped to outside
sleeping pad strapped to outside
 

Insane, right???  I can’t believe everything fit in there!  Well, we are now equipped to live out of 2 backpacks for the next while…and to get really buff while doing it because these things are HEAVY!!!!

Checkin’ things off the list!

Oh hayyy guys, guess what we did today?

1. Bought bus tickets to Chi-town so we can make our flight!

2. Found a first Couchsurfing host in Medellin!

3. Found a first farm to go to in Colombia!  It is primarily a coffee farm but has tons of other stuff.  Apparently their coffee was voted BEST in Colombia.  Ok, I’m excited!

4. Studied a ton of espanol.  I even wrote an email in Spanish and got my point across!

That’s it.  Only 2 more weeks of these super boring posts!  We’re so close to the real adventure beginning!