Wrapping things up and getting to Bogota

We’ve finally arrived in Bogota! It feels a little intimidating to be thrust in the middle of a country where we dont speak the language and since we’ve not done any research at all beyond booking tickets, its a very new experience. I spoke a lot more spanish during our past trips to Mexico, but I seem to have forgotten it all this time.

After a busy day in LA which involved getting some last minute purchases done, canceling my cell phone and getting our membership money back from Costco (getting money back is so much fun), and enjoying really awesome chaat with my cousin at Chowpatty in LA, we headed to the airport for our flight to Bogota.

Some pictures leading to our departure from California:

Our really messy apartment just a few days before leaving:

Nearly done now:
Finally done!

Swami’s backpack contents, all neatly organized. He’ll end up taking around ten pounds out from this pile.
Ready to leave at the airport:

Greeted by a rainbow in Bogota:
Just outside our hostel:

Getting into Bogota – Immigration, Customs and Getting local currency

Once you are out from the airplane, it is very straight forward to get to the immigration line. You’ll be handed customs forms along the way. Immigration was pretty simple, but we were the last to be done, even with many other people behind us. I guess they dont see passports with tourist visas often. Most EU and English speaking countries do not need a tourist visa to enter Colombia. From there, customs was a breeze as we only had backpacks with us. You can change money in the ‘casa de cambio’ which is just past customs. To find an ATM, ask for ‘cajero automatico, por favor’ and a friendly airport staff will point the way. All amenities are available in the departure area.

Getting a Taxi to the Hostel

Getting a taxi is a very simple matter. Once you exit the customs area, turn right and look for the sign that says ‘autorizado taxi’ and get in line (we had a long line). At the counter, give your address and the clerk will hand you a slip with the cost. Wait for the taxi handler to get you a taxi, give your address. We showed him the written address and got to our hostel in about 20 minutes.

Our hostel is quite charming, and we’ve been meeting a lot of friendly and well traveled folks. The wifi is excellent and I’ve been using the time to hunker down and get some much needed sleep. We’ve also been browsing through the guidebooks here to figure out what we should do in Bogota. Until next time!

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