Sally turned ghost white. “I don’t feel so well,” she stated. Right before she leaned back, rolled her eyes back, passed out and started convulsing…
We touched down in Miami around 6pm on the 24th. The warm air was a welcoming change from the February winter of Seattle. My boy La picked us up and the airport and we wasted no time getting settled in. We spent the night catching up and planning our day at South Beach.
South Beach was another late finish to the night and an early start to the morning. The reality of our adventure finally set in the next morning when we were waiting in line at the airport and were the only ones not speaking Spanish. This became even more concerning after we boarded the plane. The air hostess stared at me blankly when I asked her a question in English. Shit. Our Spanish on disc lessons covered the entire range of “essentials”. The only problem is we are only about a quarter of the way through them. I quickly devised a plan of action. The next time the stewardess came our direction, I did what any man with a sense of pride would do. I pulled my hat over my face and pretended to be asleep. Sally struggled through getting us some water and food. My valiant effort did not go unnoticed.
We touched down in Bogota and made our way to the hostel. It was a pleasant relief to be greeted in English. We unloaded our bags into the 4X6 cell that many inmates would object to as cruel and unusual punishment. White peeling paint, a bunk bed, and barely enough room to do prison style work outs (tested our second morning). We couldn’t be happier! We then ventured off to explore our surroundings and grab a bite to eat. Our excitement to have our first taste of Colombian food quickly turned to chaos. We clumsily stumbled through our order, pointing and saying “si, dos por favor” until the waitress left and brought back food. It wasn’t two bites into the soup when Sally said she wasn’t feeling well. Within seconds she turned a ghost white, fluttered her eyes, and rolled her head forward. I jumped up to save the table from a horrible Sally head imprint. She went limp and started convulsing. About 45 seconds later and a few slaps to the face, she came back to. I quickly jumped up and used every Spanish word I knew to try to explain my wife wasn’t feeling well. Turns out she doesn’t handle high altitude too well. Considering that was expended in about 10 seconds, I decided to repeat them a few times to get my point across. Sally waved at me from the table and told me she was feeling better. We grabbed the food to go and made our way back to the hostel for the afternoon.
We savoured our first meal of the day and decided to chill in for the rest of the night. The hostel was very chilled and quiet so we thought it would be a great time to catch up on some sleep. 10pm rolled around and in rolled the late night crew. Five English guys and two American girls were competing for who could live up to the “loud obnoxious” stereotype the best (the patio area just happened to be right outside our prison cell). Once 5am rolled around and they called it a night, Sally and I decided it was a tie. We managed to get a quick nap in before the hostel morning crew were up blasting music, getting their day started. The second day of our trip was spent wandering around the streets of Bogota, trying to work on our Spanish and taking in the Colombian culture.
After another sleepless night, it was time to get out and see some shit. I (Sally), was feeling adventurous and suggested we make a trip out of town to see the Catedral de Sal in a small town called Zipaquira. Initially, Bret was a little reluctant to take the 1.5 hour bus ride out of town but after a little pep talk, we were on our way. Surprisingly, it was quite easy and uneventful. Once in Zipaquira, we made the brief walk up to the Cathedral and spent a couple of hours looking around. Catedral de Sal is a Roman Catholic church that was built in a salt mine, 200 meters underground. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_Cathedral_of_Zipaquir%C3%A1) Bret and I agreed that the long journey out of town was well worth it. With not much else to see in “Zipa” we started making our way back into Bogota (during rush hour traffic). Feeling tired from the long day and lack of sleep we decided to keep it chill (yet again – damn we´re getting old).
After little deliberation, we decided that we needed to escape our prison and planned the next leg of our trip – a vacation from our vacation!