At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Arrived in Colombia!

We have arrived in Medellin, Colombia. Lots to talk about, so we'll break this up a little and back track to yesterday morning.

We left our motorhome Sherman parked up at Embarcadero Chago...our friend's marina at the lakeside near Valle de Bravo. We walked up to the roadside where many collectivo (shared) taxis pass by, sometimes more than one per minute. So it didn't take long for one to stop with room for two more people.

However, no matter how full they already are, they always think there is room for two more people!

These are just little four door Nissan Sentra (Tsuro) cars, and there were already four people in it. We popped the luggage into the trunk, Ruth got in the back with the other two, and I got in the front (almost sitting on top of the gearshift) with the driver and another guy. It's just a short distance, and nobody cares. It's just the way it's done.

Into downtown Valle de Bravo, we asked the driver to let us off at the street leading up to the bus terminal. He insisted on driving us right to the terminal, which was also okay with us given that we had our luggage with us. Total cost for the two of us, right to the door of the bus terminal, was 40 pesos ($3.28 CAD).

We walked up to buy our bus tickets into Mexico City and he gave us the choice of the premier bus leaving at 11:00am or the ordinary bus (slower) leaving at 10:20.am. We chose the slower one because we knew we had all day to get to the airport. Cost for the premier bus would have been 180 pesos each, but we paid 141 pesos ($11.56 CAD) each for the two and a half hour drive.

Sorry, no pictures. We were content just watching the scenery for a change.

Arrived at the southern bus terminal (Mexico City has four different long distance bus terminals) walking distance to the Observatorio Metro subway station. We've been here before, so we knew the drill. Bought two single one time tickets. The cost is still 5 pesos (41 cents CAD)...one of the cheapest underground systems in the world!

The Mexico City subway.

Had to switch trains once, and before we knew it we were right in downtown Mexico City at the Bellas Artes station. We had some time to waste, so we went for a walk in the big downtown park. Ruth had brought some food, so we sat and had a late lunch.

The big downtown Alameda Park in Mexico City even has free wi-fi!

The Mexico City airport is located very close (compared to many cities) to the downtown core. We have taken the airport bus from there before, but it's a bit of a complicated system. You can only pay with a transit card...no cash. Ruth had saved our transit cards from the last time we were there, so we didn't need to pay the extra 15 pesos for the cards. But recharging stations are not at every stop, so we had to go find a charging station to put more money on the cards.

That went fine, but then we had to wait for the special airport bus. We watched a few other buses go by, and then we asked the next one that came. He said we could take his bus, but we would have to transfer. Fair enough, so we hopped on...along with many other people. 

It was packed...way too crowded. And us with our luggage...what a zoo.

Lesson learned. In the future, wait for the proper airport bus. It's more expensive (30 pesos compared to 6 pesos) so it doesn't attract so many people.

But we did make it to the transfer station and got on the proper bus which would have come along at the last stop had we waited long enough.

Made it to airport Terminal 2 at about 6:00pm. We've always flown in or out of Terminal 1, which is the domestic terminal. This time, we're flying international, so terminal 2.

Mexico City airport terminal 2.

We needed some food, and airport food is always a little pricey. But it's even more pricey if you go past security into the gate area. This terminal has a reasonably priced food court near the parking area. And a lot more selection.

Dinner for two!

We had a bowl of Pozole and a big salad and shared it between us. Total cost 165 pesos ($13.50 CAD). Not bad, considering it was at the airport.

Then, off for a long wait in the gate area. Our flight wasn't scheduled to depart until 1:38am!

Waiting in an airport isn't bad if you have decent internet. But the only internet we could come across in this airport terminal was a spotty Infinitum Movil connection that was supposed to allow you two hours free. But it kept dropping off, and even when it was connected in wasn't good. More frustrating than anything else!

The obligatory airport selfie!

Sure enough, our flight left right on time.

That's enough for now...check in tomorrow morning and we'll tell you about our first day in Colombia!

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20 comments:

  1. What an adventure. I love how you roll with the circumstances. It sure makes things less stressful and more fun. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

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    1. We like to do things the local way and that is definitely the local way. Could have done without the really crowded bus but we sure did laugh about it after.

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  2. Wow I was amazed at the modern subway system and airport!! I guess I've been watching too many movies i.e. Romancing the Stone...where pigs were at the airport with decapitated buses LOL. I do remember reading someones Mexico blog where the women rode in separate cars because with the crowd packed closed on the subway system the men were groping females. Don't know if this is true today. Love the selfies. A glimpse of Colombia flying indicates modern homes....can't wait to see the next post.

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    1. The subway works well but in some areas it does show some signs of wear and tear but when you have that many people using it everyday that is to be expected. Yes, they still have several cars that are just for the women and children but they are normally put on the track during morning and afternoon rush hours when they might have the worst time with the groping.

      Terminal 2 seems much more modern and new than Terminal one. They will be starting work shortly if they haven't already, on a brand new airport that will replace this one which has now outgrown itself. Mexico City is very modern in many ways, sometimes even more so than Canada or the USA.

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  3. What a whirlwind day. Glad you got off on time. A delay at that hour would have been awful!

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    1. Yep it sure was a day and night and you're right it would have been miserable if there had been a delay at that hour but there would have been nothing to do about it, we would just have had to deal with it.

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  4. I was lost the minute you left Sherman behind. Kudos for finding your way. Can't wait to hear about Colombia!

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    1. Ha, you're funny Grace! Yep it was a pretty busy time with all the different modes of transportation but at least there was time for some relaxing, especially on the bus ride to Mexico City.

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  5. Looks like you are enjoying the adventure.
    And I know you will have fun. Enjoy.

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    1. You know us George, we always have fun, especially when we are travelling.

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  6. I knew you would ace it. Thanks for checking in.

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    1. Planning ahead for where you have to be and where you have to go next is the key. ;-)

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  7. Sorry but you've just got to love Mexico. We're living in the economic expansion that other countries went through a long time ago so we are living in a good moment. Mexico City is a jewel in itself and is truly an easy city to move around in.

    Can't wait to see what happens in Colombia, you're just gonna love it!!!!

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    1. Totally agree with you Chris! Many people think Mexico is still in the dark ages but in reality they are ahead of us in so many ways. Mexico City holds it old charm yet is very modern.

      From first impressions, yep we are going to love it! :-)

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  8. Great travel details and costs! It helps to travel along with an experienced traveler. Looking forward to the next leg of your trip.

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    1. We like to add those details because it could help others with their research but it also helps to remind us should we have to do a similar trip again.

      I think you will enjoy it and I know that if it is anything like yesterday we are going to enjoy our time here in Colombia. :-)

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  9. Replies
    1. We are too and so happy to be off exploring in new places.

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  10. So exciting. We have to wait for another month and a bit before we go. What did you pack for this trip? What area of Medellin are you in?

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    1. When and where will be arriving into Colombia, maybe we will be able to meet up? I am sure that you will love it here.

      As for what we packed it is almost the same as we packed for our trip to Korea, except that we tried to pack even less. If you go into our archives, in the right hand column and go to the last entry in Sept. 2014, I believe the packing list is in that post. One thing that we did include in this trip that we didn't have on that list was that for this trip we each brought a bug/mosquito top for our Lost City hike.

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