And On To Medellin, Colombia
January 6, 2009 by rtwsenior
All is coming together nicely now that I am rested and oriented to being on the road. It´s 8:30 a.m. and I´ll soon be calling a taxi to get to the bus station to catch the next bus to Medellin. They tell me that all buses here are freezing cold with AC, just like it was in Central America, so I will wear layer upon layer and even have my lightweight sleeping bag handy to use as a cocoon. But, my new friends from Medellin, Paulina and Carlos, tell me that their city is quite warm in comparison to Bogota. Paula has written taxi instructions on my hostel reservation paper and I have advice about approximate taxi costs.
The exchange rate here is 2100 pesos to the dollar, and everything is priced in the thousands. I can get a quick approximation of what something costs, simply by dividing the bill in two. A 16,000 peso taxi ride is a little less than $8. If a menu item is 20,000 pesos, I know that it is close to $10. So far, I´m not in the cheap zone where meals cost only a few dollars apiece, but I have been frequenting the ritzy places here, just for fun. Still and all, I´ve just paid my hostel bill for three nights, ($25) a load of laundry ($4.76) and two bottles of water for the road ($1.90), so you can see that I´m not breaking the bank here. So, I can afford to splurge a lot if I want to.
I´ve already reserved a private room for $20 per night at the Casa Kiwi in Medellin and should arrive early in the evening as the bus ride is nine hours. This is a good hostel, according to Paulina, run by New Zealanders, so I´ll be among English-speaking staff. Here, Alegria speaks English, but the rest of the hostel workers don´t. I am using my little electronic pocket translator sometimes, and pantomime at others. I feel some Spanish vocabulary busting free from the cloisters of my brain where it has been stored since High School Spanish 1.
Okay, time to pack and catch a taxi to the bus station.