It’s a bit after 6 am when we land in Colombia for our connection to Peru.
I say we, because it turns out the 2 ladies next to me on the Miami flight are on the tour as well (2 of 4 sisters who will be traveling together).
Announcements in the Bogota airport are of course made in Spanish, then (sort of) in English. Their TSA-equivalent, as here, is not a tourism service but a security detail, and mostly speaks Spanish. My grasp of Spanish, which mostly covers greetings and food will not serve, but being a frequent traveler helps; the rigamarole is close enough to the same. I find my gate, and spend the couple of hours until we press on trying to rest and trying to guess who in the crowd is also on the tour with me.
I am not the only one playing that game. 😊
Avianca airlines planes feel spacious- it strikes me that these are old planes in the old configuration– remember when we thought this was a small space because our leg might occasionally brush up against the person beside us, instead of today when we fly in a seat that veal would find cramped? And yet on this flight, there’s actually room at my feet to store my personal item and still cross my legs if I want.
The luxury of it!
On the next and final leg of the trip I sit next to Pat. She and her husband Ron are on the tour (for some reason none of the couples have been seated together on the flight) and we hit it off immediately.
There’s a bit of brief confusion in the pickup process, but we’re sorted shortly. Pat Ron and about half of the group are taken back to the hotel, while the other half of us take the optional tour of the Pisac Market.
Several hours later, having met more of my tour mates (Linda and Joe, Sue and Ken, Chelsea and Ryan, Jenny and Lynn, Doug and Yung, and so many others), seen alpacas and llamas, had a demonstration of local silver works, learned a bit about how to spot real baby alpaca products vs fakes, spent far too much time (for my liking) in the market proper, and felt a bit of the unevenness of high altitude – the length of this sentence well mirrors the length of the day – we get back to our hotel in time to change for dinner (if desired) and our group tour kickoff meeting.
My hotel room is sparse but lovely, and a shower and bed sound delightful. I sleep very soundly – which is good, because tomorrow will be an early, long, and utterly amazing day.