Another chapter in Tim Bayne’s seemingly endless travels around the world. This time he takes us to Colombia and Argentina.
As I waited for colleague Melissa I re-read the email:
"There are significant issues in traveling to Colombia. It is for that
reason that such travel should be closely examined to ensure that all
prudent precautions are taken. The primary security concern/issue, of
course, is the FARC and its 40 years of experience in terrorism".
The email read more like a CV than a call to precaution. We boarded the
plane for Miami, where we would transfer to American Airlines flight to
Bogotá. This leg of the journey represented 6,000 miles of the 16,000
miles M and I would cover in the next five days.
BOGOTA: This is the capital city of Colombia, with 7 million
inhabitants. The city today has a lower murder rate than Caracas, São
Paulo, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. The situation in Bogotá seems to
be "greatly improved in terms of security and public safety from five
years ago, and the atmosphere is much more relaxed", said Marshall
Louis, a spokesman for the United States Embassy. The city was quieter
as we left the hotel at four-thirty the next morning for the flight to
Buenos Aires. Coffee in a wonderfully empty and clean airport terminal
was welcome. The sun, shining red to highlight the tail fins of the
local airline’s 737′s and overalls of their ground crews.
BUENOS AIRES: Later Melissa and I walked along the side of the Puerto
Madero one of the coolest barrios of Buenos Aires, regenerated from red
brick warehouses were all but abandoned when the port left the city in
the 1930′s. We found a restaurant, waited briefly for a table outside
looking across the waterfront.
Friday footnote: Melissa was remaining behind, taking some holiday. She
planned to explore the icebergs, towering peaks and the drama of the
Perito Moreno Glacier in the far south of Argentina. It was grey and
dull as the taxi took me back out the airport. Adios Bogotá, adios
Buenos Aires, thank you for your warmth, your energy, attention and
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