Nov 28, 2006

CITIES OF SNOW
SEATTLE, Washington –  Hail blots the Seattle skyline, as I stash my bike in the basement, fingers numbed. Shortly two inches crust the deck. All terribly lovely – except for my 6am flight to South America.

The city freezes into an inert slab. Taxi companies refuse to answer the phone. The airport shuttle is running and vaguely promises service "sometime within the next 12 hours."

Marie emails from balmy New York: "Make Hatboy take you."

HB doesn't remove the vintage Porsche 9-11 from the garage if it's misting. Or dark. Or could possibly become misty or dark. A freak snowstorm is no time to expect heroics.

The van arrives 20 minutes before my flight, which, naturally, departs on time. I decide to brazen it out.

"We can only rebook you to Bogotá, not Medellin," the clerk says. "All the flights are full for days."

I consult the guide. Yes, a nine-hour bus runs cross-country.

"Go," I say. "Gogogogooooo."

6 comments:

  1. Have a great time in Colombia.

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  2. I answer my on the impressions that I would received with a race in the streets of Seattle with my Alfa, with misting, with snow... without airplane that must go... and now gogogooo.. i wait for your next life reportage... from??? Bogota? Uhmmm thats dangerous a life :)

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  3. Colombia isn't so dangerous these days, FARC insurgents aside. President Alvaro Uribe and his government really cracked down on the cartels.

    As the BBC reported in May: "Figures suggest Mr Uribe's hardline policies have been successful, with the 15,000 murders last year fewer than half the figure three years before, when Mr Uribe was elected, and kidnappings cut by two thirds."

    Marxist guerrillas, along with poverty and inequality, are still issues. But it's not like the United States has a spotless copybook these days...

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  4. Oh yes, I only pass through Bogotá. I'll visit Medellin, then Cartagena and Rosario Island National Park, where I'll hopefully complete my advanced open-water dive certification...

    An air ticket was procured, thank goodness. Nine hours on a bus – anywhere – should certainly be avoided; more so in politically tempestuous countries.

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  5. Nine hours? A day in the park! ;-)

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  6. True, compared to Marie's (what?) month-long bus odyssies, nine hours is a larf...

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