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A free hamburger at Wimpy's
Sep 03, 2005    
You get the picture. Get up at 6.30 am. Cab to airport. Tina downs a double whisky at 7. Board plane. Fly to Leticia. Fly back to Bogota...

Back in the city at noon, the biggest problem was that the airline just kept telling us to sit put. There would be an update at 1 pm. 1.15. 1.30. 2.00 - not a word and us stuck in lounge 11 without food. Finally the pilot emerged, trying to explain. Smoke from Brazil. No visibility. We had already checked the internet - 3 different reports for air flight weather confirmed the message; a southerly wind from Brazil has brought us smoke at exactly 10 am each day - only 30 minutes before our arrival.

In addition, a bad plane crash in the area two weeks back has everyone jittery. The NOAA weather report however brought some good news: Seems that the wind is changing NW by tomorrow.

If we don't get out by then though, we'll have to change to plan B: Cartagena. An old city up north with a beautiful national park close by. Beaches and palm trees - one catch only; 5 tourists were kidnapped there July last year.

Plus we came here for the river - not sightseeing. Let's see what happens. Dialog from the briefing.

Captain: "We are not leaving this afternoon."
A crowd of Colombian passengers, sharing a bottle of whisky: "Well, will we get a free lunch then?"
Captain: "Why can't you buy your own lunch?"
Passengers: "Cause we don't have any money."
Captain: "But I can see you drinking expensive whisky?"
Passengers: "That's another budget! HAHA"
We got a free hamburger at Wimpy's.

A really old guy wandered around, lit a smoke right under the no smoking sign and asked the crowd could he share the bottle. The man was senile, each time someone told him smoking was off limits, he forgot the information five minutes later.

So we are all just waited - for the smoke to clear.

But hey – it’s not all gloom. Tonight we’ll hit town – for a Salsa club in Bogota!

Previous Dispatches

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