After what turned out to be a much longer than expected sideline in terra firma due to a nightmare of a sinus infection, it was finally time for me to start seeing the world again. My desire to continue exploring South America along with a truly amazing United rewards travel deal led me to give Cartagena, Colombia a shot along with a quick sojourn in Panama City. And away we go!
Part of the great deal I had found was that most of the trip would be in business class. Copa Airlines’ version is closer to a domestic business class vs. international but beggars can’t be choosy. This would do just fine.
A mere 6 hours later, I arrived at the Panama City, where I would take a quick puddle jumper (well, sea jumper in this case) to Cartagena. I decided against partaking in the local cuisine though.
The second leg of the trip had a slightly downgraded version of business class.
After a quick hour flight, I exited the stairs to the plane to get my first taste of the hot, humid Cartagena weather, quite the change from my previous trip to say the least! While my business class seat was hardly great, the fact I was one of the first out of the plane turned out to be a huge advantage as I approached a very welcome sight.
Suffice it to say, getting through immigration/customs was a breeze.
My luggage was also there waiting for me along with a slightly shady guy with a cart, offering to take me to a cab. Normally I wouldn’t agree to anything like that but because it was a late Tuesday evening in a basically empty terminal, I didn’t really have a choice. Fortunately, I had a bit of USD with me as there was no ATM in sight and my “guide” assured me it was a cheap taxi ride. As it turned out, he wasn’t even the driver, just trying get a few shekels on the DL. I gave him about a buck in USD and he seemed fine with that. I had been told my place was close to the airport and sure enough, about 10 minutes later, I had arrived.
The building loomed large over the relatively empty stretch of land across from the Caribbean so it was pretty easy to spot. Took the elevator to the 14th floor and noticed a welcome change in the weather, a nice steady warm breeze. Oh how I had missed that wonderful feeling!
Despite the fact that it was 2 hours earlier on my body clock, I decided it would probably be a good idea to get some rest as I wanted to be as refreshed as possible to begin my exploration of Cartagena.