At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Well, that was a pleasant surprise!

We departed our little cubical room in Guasca at just before 11:00am yesterday. Enjoyed our stay in the countryside...far better than staying in the city of Bogota. But, we were not totally done with Bogota because we were heading for Bogota airport for our flight to Medellin yesterday evening.

We found a bus marked "Terminal" and asked the driver if he was going to the main Bogota bus terminal. It's located relatively close to the Bogota airport, so that would be ideal. And he we hopped on.

It cost 7,000 pesos ($3.15 CAD) each for the almost two hour bus ride to the Bogota bus terminal. Two hours to go 57 kms (35 miles)!

Why? Because Bogota traffic is not fun!

From the bus terminal, it's only about 8 kms (5 miles) to the airport which is located pretty much in the city. We figured they might have a bus from the terminal to the airport, but the girl at the info desk said no, it would be much easier to simply take a taxi.

Okay, taxis are cheap.

But then at the terminal you have to stand in line to get an "authorized" taxi, and there's an extra 1,500 peso fee for that, and there's an extra 3,000 peso fee for any airport service.

So our ride to the airport was 13,500 pesos ($6.00 CAD)...which is still pretty cheap!

Our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 9:45pm, so we had lots of time to waste. But, we usually find that time goes quickly waiting in an airport. Plus, I had read that the Bogota airport has free wifi, so we could do some catching up on computer stuff.

But the Bogota airport is a zoo. It serves a city of 8 million people, and Colombia has a lot of inexpensive domestic flights so a lot of people prefer flying locally as opposed to taking long bus rides. What a busy airport! And because there are different gate sections, we couldn't go through security until our gate was assigned which wouldn't be until 6:00pm or so.

And yes...they have free wifi. But it can't handle the thousands of people all trying to use it at the same time. Note to anyone who says they supply free wifi...there is no point in having free wifi if it doesn't work!!!

So, that three hours kind of dragged. We did go have a meal in the food court. Expensive airport food, and it cost 50,000 pesos ($22.50 CAD) for the two of us but it was not a bad meal.

Once we got through security, things improved!

Now, shouldn't all airports have seating like this??

When I booked the flights two weeks or so ago, the system would not let me choose seating. It was a special promotional fare from Copa Airlines (based in Panama but they do a lot of flights between North and South America) priced at 70,000 pesos ($31.50 CAD) each.

For that price, I don't care where we're sitting!

When I did the online check in yesterday morning, there were quite a few seats available and I saw that seats 1A and 1B were empty. I thought that was a little strange, but clicked them anyhow expecting to be brought to a page where you pay extra for upgrade. But let me reserve the seats.

So when we got on the plane and saw that we really were seated in Business Class...we were pretty surprised!

Ruth and Kevin. Flying in style in big comfy seats with lots of legroom!

I have no idea why we were allowed to book these seats. All I can think is that I had signed up last summer for Copa's frequent flyer program when there was a promotional thing going on to get free miles. I figured that someday we might fly with Copa, so why not? Anyhow, I've read that sometimes Copa gives their frequent flyers free promotional maybe that's what happened?

No idea, but it sure was a pleasant surprise!

Arrived in Medellin at 10:45 pm. We're familiar with the procedure because this is where we arrived when we first got to Colombia at the end of October. So we hopped on the bus and paid the 9,000 pesos ($4.05 CAD) each to take us into the city of Medellin. 

This time, we knew to get off the bus closer to Andrea's house. There was a line up of taxis waiting and it was 10,000 pesos ($4.50 CAD) for the taxi to Andrea's. This is the same couchsurfing host that we stayed with at the beginning of our Colombia trip. Her boyfriend Herber is away in the north for his work.

It was midnight by the time we knocked on Andrea's door but she knew we were going to be late. Everyone was tired, and so we called it a night right away.

Andrea is working today and so I think we'll just have a day of rest. Maybe go down to the big grocery store and make Andrea dinner when she gets home.

Today, on

And in Canada, on


  1. It's always so nice to fly "up at the front", whether it's a surprise or not. Happened to me once when flying solo back from Aguadilla to Newark. They actually apologized that the flight was full, and would I be willing to fly First Class? Um, I was OK with that.

    1. That's only the third time that we have flown "up at the front". The first time was on September 14th, 2001. We were on one of the first flights off the ground after September 11th, and the plane was pretty much empty. They let us sit in first class from Ottawa to Halifax.

      The second time was when we were flying Ottawa to New York City through Toronto. The Ottawa to Toronto leg was full and they asked us if we would wait an hour for the next flight and they would put us "up in the front" on that flight. So we did.

  2. That was a good deal for the flight , plus up front too.
    Soon you be back to Sherman.

    1. It was an excellent price for the flight. That is like going from Ottawa Toronto, and you would never get a price like that and even if someone could, the additional taxes would then be added. Wish we could get prices like this in Canada, people would travel more in Canada then.

  3. long legs nice to have the extra room. originally my ex and I were going to move to colombia while he went to medical school. was so disappointed when we didnt. I had checked into jobs and I could have worked at a very high salary for american companies and thought it would be a grand adventure. he had dual citizenship so tuition would have been cheap in comparison to an american you know cost of living there is so much less...dont think I can take a taxi from the house to the end of the driveway for 4.50...

    1. Kevin loved having all that extra legroom. :-)

      Too bad that never came through. They have some very good universities here and yes, it would have been considerably cheaper especially if you had gotten a good paying job with one of the American companies here.

      We vowed years ago to never take another taxi in either Canada or the US, they are way too expensive and usually not friendly.

  4. That's a wonderful surprise! Kind of sad to know that your Colombia adventures are drawing to a close :-(

    1. Yes, it is sad especially when we know there are still places to see that we just never had the time to see. Guess that just means we will have to make a return visit. Looking forward to getting back to Sherman and our RV life though.

  5. Copa is a number one airline. I would say that 50% of my trips on Copa included free upgrades.

    As for the airport in Bogota, it shows people how advanced South America really is. It´s a great part of America.

    1. Copa was great, more airlines could learn from them.

      The Bogota airport is very modern but way to small (they are putting on an addition though) and not nearly enough seating on the outside of security where everyone has to stay until about 2 to 3 hours before your flight shows up on the monitor to say where your gate is. Once you get through security, there is plenty of seating. Too bad they make you wait outside of security for so long. Our only other issue was with their "free" internet which was the pits, couldn't even get on because it was overloaded with the too many people trying to use it. Love those reclining seats though!

  6. Wow...big shots traveling first class. Lol

    1. Would be nice to travel like that on a long haul flight!

  7. Replies
    1. Yep, it was a long day with a nice end to it. :-)

  8. I hope you enjoy your return visit to Medellin.

  9. As a Copa stockholder I thank you for flying Copa! Hehehe... Interestingly enough, Copa is supposed to be the most profitable airline in the world. It is interesting to hear yours an others comments on Copa.

    It's been a very interesting trip to Colombia.

    1. You're welcome! After reading your comment, I think we need to go and buy some Copa shares. :-) We wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again.


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