Trip to the Amazon – Day 1 (the only day I wrote anything down)

I left Bogotá at 2:40 this afternoon and landed in Leticia at about 4:40 pm. I slept through a lot of the flight – I hope that won’t make it difficult to get to sleep tonight.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be too hot at this point. It’s a reasonable temperature right now, although it’s MUCH warmer than Bogotá. I don’t think it’s been this warm all year there. Not so hot that I won’t be able to sleep though.

Interrupted for dinner. Good fish. And now I’m alone. I think. There may be someone else here where I’m staying, but the family who runs the place just headed into town. And I think their dog may hate me…

So after I landed I was picked up at the airport by Raul. I’m wondering if it’s a sign of what’s to come for the entire trip, but he (and everyone else I’ve met) doesn’t speak a word of English. Hopefully that doesn’t cause any problems.

Raul took me on a tour of the city with his dad (I think) driving the taxi. It just so happens that since tomorrow is a puente, there was a parade going on. Interesting thing about Leticia – it’s right on the border with Brazil, so there’s actually a Brazilian town attached to it. You can drive back and forth between Colombia and Brazil without and problems. And Peru is right across the river, all three countries actually meet here. Brazil doesn’t have a puente tomorrow, so they didn’t have the parade on their side. Suckers.

So now I’m out in the middle of nowhere. It took a good 15 minutes to drive out of town to get to this little resort/villa. It was almost like driving down a cottage road, there were little places all along the way, all very cottagey.

I actually have an entire building to myself. It even has running water and electricity – a big surprise. And I ad been expecting hammocks or cots, but got only cots. That’s okay, I’m assuming I’ll get hammocks tomorrow after traveling upriver a bit.

It looks like I’ll get my canopy tour tomorrow in the morning. I’m really looking forward to it – assuming I don’t have any issues with the height. Shouldn’t be too bad, though. I’ll be harnessed in. And then it’s upriver – Tuesday is pink dolphins, yay!

Home stretch

Almost done, boys and girls. Exams are going this week, remedials next two weeks (for which,  I’ll have no students – unfortunate how mediocrity is promoted here), and then it’s all over. Still hoping to hit the Amazon the first week of July, Alan sent me a link to a place that seems to have a really good deal for one – but I’m having a hell of a time creating an account with them, I’ve tried twice and an email was supposed to be sent to me “in a few minutes” – that was two days ago. I’m guessing it’s done manually and not automatically, which sucks. They need someone to program in an autoresponder.

New levels of suck

Alan, Sara and I went to a concert today at the salt cathedral in Zipaquira. All we knew ahead of time was that it was a joint effort between the Italian embassy and one of the universities – it sounded promising enough. And the salt cathedral seems to be a place where the acoustics would be great. Sadly, the acoustics WERE good – if only they hadn’t been, we might have enjoyed it more…

It turned out the music was “modern”, and by “modern” I mean “sucky”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to modern by any stretch – I love Philip Glass. But this…this was just awful. And it didn’t help that the musicians were terrible too. There was one song that was supposed to be solo voice but also had a trombone playing with it for some reason – I honestly could have played better when I was in high school band than this musician, he/she was terrible. But we had some good food for breakfast and lunch, so it wasn’t too bad a venture. Last time I try for any kind of concert here though, I’ve heard horror stories and now I’ve experienced it too – I think I’ll stick with the gringo pubs for the last few weeks :)

Star Wars…whoa-oh-oh Star Wars….

Call me Nerdlinger. I went to see Star Wars Episode III yesterday – twice. Always nice playing hooky to go see a movie in the middle of the day :) Helps that I was done teaching by noon every day this week…

Anyway, the movie was MUCH better than the other two prequels. The storyline was actually solid, the special effects actually weren’t overwhelming or distracting, and the acting was, if it’s possible, cheesier than the originals. Good stuff :)

Other good news on the Nerdlinger front – figured out today that my replacement motherboard has USB 2.0 instead of USB 1.1 which I had before. Score! Much faster transfer to and from my Jukebox. Me happy.

Yet more good news. I went in for my one week checkup after Lasik surgery – and apparently I’m at better than 20/20 vision. Not bad for one week, and apparently it will get even better over the next 2 or 3 months. Screw the new telescopes, I may be able to confirm the moon landing first. Oh, and I have video! Dr. Otero had someone filming the surgery and he fiddled around with iMovie and created a little DVD movie for me. I haven’t had a chance to play around with it myself yet; if I can compress it enough, I’ll put a copy up on here so anyone interested can have a look.

“It passed the first test – I didn’t go blind”

Well, as of today I no longer need glasses or contact lenses. I had eye surgery all of 24 hours ago (actually, a little less than that) and everything went perfectly. I was in a little bit of pain yesterday, but by the evening that was pretty well gone, and today I’m not feeling anything. Well, not entirely true, but it just feels like I have a bit of sand in my eye, nothing major. And certainly a good trade off for having, at this point, almost perfect vision already. And it’ll improve over the next 2 or 3 weeks too. This morning, for the first time since I was a little kid, I woke up and could see (well, almost, I had these patch-like things over my eyes so I don’t rub them). Greatest feeling in the world. And the best part is that I had it done at the clinic that actually invented Lasik surgery, they’re using technology that’s ahead of stuff in North America, and it only cost me about $1200 for all my appointments and the surgery, including after care for 6 months (not that I’ll be here for that, but whatever). At home it would’ve cost me somewhere around $4000 – quite the savings!

PS Saw a British show called “Street Hypnosis” last night – damn near pissed my pants when I saw a guy with road rage kick (literally) the crap out of a dummy he thought was the driver of the car in front of him.