Next Stop: Panama City, Panama
Arriving in Panama City, Panama was beautiful. As we were preparing to land I saw nothing but a beautiful city and the Panama Canal. We were only in the airport for about an hour or so and decided to grab lunch before the next flight to our final destination. As we sat down to grab food we realized that we did not have a long time before boarding so we quickly found the waiter and asked him to pack our food to go.
Rushing to the gate, we boarded the plane in first class and got ready for take-off. This flight was going to take us into Pereira, Colombia and was only about an hour or so long. This flight felt like a breeze compared to the flight we just had.
Arriving in Pereira felt so great because we were finally done with airplanes for the day! I am not a big fan of airplanes and I get bored rather quickly. I am also one who cannot sleep on the plane or in a moving vehicle for that matter. We went through customs and by the time we got outside, our ride was right there ready to take us to the glorious Sonesta hotel in Pereira.
The atmosphere was completely different than America. People drove tiny compact cars and rode around on little motorcycles which held up to four people. This was crazy to think that motorcycles were weaving in and out of the cars and driving in the middle of the road. The lines on the road are apparently only a guideline to the people in this country. There are not many laws and there are not many rules. However, one thing I can say for sure is that they have huge speed bumps to regulate traffic. Their speed bumps are very wide and long and if you go over them any faster than 15 mph you’re likely to hit your head on the ceiling of the car.
Another side note is that there is nothing straight or flat about Colombia. There are hills and mountains everywhere which means super curvy roads that could make you sick to your stomach if you don’t drive with caution. Thankfully my dad was going to be driving most of the trip.
The best part about Colombia is that no matter where you are, there is a view. The clouds seem like you can touch them and the stars at night seem so close. Sometimes I wish that my camera had the capability to have a picture of what the starts looked like.
When we arrived to the Sonesta hotel it was not long before I realized how beautiful and glorious it looked. Keeping in mind that Colombia’s ratio is about 1:3. For a beautiful hotel like the one we stayed in barely costed much. As we approached the Sonesta we had guys that came and took our luggage for us and brought it inside where we checked in. There were no doors on the hotel entrance and rather it was very open and flawless looking. They had big chandelier looking things hanging from their ceiling that sparkled and took up most of the lobby.
The doorman was given our room key and brought our luggage upstairs where we were staying and showed us how everything worked in the room. I thought to myself, okay this cannot be real. A place where people do things for you and doing things for yourself is considered rude seemed too good to be true.
We were up in the room when we discovered a switch that would bring the curtains up and down the floor to ceiling windows and I was amazed. Their shower was a waterfall shower and had glass surrounding it. The beds were the only downfall because in Colombia there is no such thing as a “nice” bed. Although, they were large and had beautiful white sheets they were almost rock solid. Cameron was okay with this considering his back hurts most of the time when he wakes up at home so being able to sleep on a harder surface was actually relieving to him.
Our room also came with a balcony that overlooked the outdoor pool, bar, and mountain views. As soon as we knew there was a pool we quickly changed and went downstairs. I proceeded to use as little of English as I could because they did not speak English there and if they did it was very little. I went downstairs and tried to tell them I was going swimming so I needed a towel and surprisingly they caught on and I was impressed that I knew enough information in Spanish to say those things.
Outside we got in the pool and saw three attached hot tubs. This was enticing to me because I love hot tubs. However, the hot tub was as warm as bath water and the pool was freezing. Such a beautiful place and odd temperatures for their water. I then realized that during the day it gets extremely hot here and the water adjusts accordingly so the water that I thought was cold is actually refreshing in the day time.
After being in the pool for a while I worked up the courage to go ask for an alcoholic beverage in Spanish. I asked for the menu and completely botched how to pronounce it in Spanish. In Spanish menu is pronounced (men-ooo). Completely different but in the end I got my strawberry daiquiri meanwhile Cam, my dad, and his girlfriend slurped on some beer.
After that we ordered some dinner at the bar by the pool and I had the best grilled chicken sandwich I think I’ve ever had period. The chicken in Colombia is nothing like the chicken in the states. Their food has no preservatives or added crap. It was natural food I was eating and boy was I in heaven.
After eating and swimming Cam and I decided to head upstairs to bed. In Colombia, it gets dark around 6:30-7ish and surprisingly I got tired rather quickly. After a long day of travel and a full stomach of delicious food, I was ready to hit the hay even though I normally wouldn’t fall asleep until around midnight if I was at home. Although, the sleep was much needed for Cameron and I.
Waking up the next morning was refreshing. There was a beautiful view and we went downstairs for breakfast. My dad was attending a meeting downstairs in the breakfast area as well so we were trying to lay low. However, my dad decided to text me afterwards and ask if I was coming down for breakfast. I had told him I went down a half hour ago and already ate. He told me to come back down and meet the people he was meeting with because that meeting was able to be interrupted considering they wanted to meet me. The people of Colombia are more than friendly and this really made Cameron and I feel so welcome.
After breakfast ended and my dad’s meeting was done, we got in the car and were off to our next destination which was about a couple of hours away. Next Stop: Armenia Quindío for day two.