My night started out quite hectic, I had planned to leave the following day with a girl that I had met on my boat ride over from Panama. Unfortunately, we were heading different directions and it ended up being much cheaper for her to get a bus from Cartagena to Bogota (which is further) than it was to get to Medellin. At the last minute while trying to purchase tickets we found this out and I felt like I was ready to move on, so I just decided to leave that night. About 35 mins later I was running to a local bus for a two hour shuttle to the bus station (would have been a 30 min cab ride but extremely over-priced, $2 compared to $30).
On the bus I had to leave my backpack in the front and while the bus got fuller and fuller, more and more people started sitting next to my bags which were blocked by all the people standing in-front of me. While the bus emptied, I decided to move forward and ended up sitting next to a young Colombian girl. She giggled as I sat down and started to talk to me in Spanish. I couldn't quite interpret everything but next thing I knew she was taking out her phone and telling me to put my phone number into it. I'm not 100% sure but I think she may have been an escort because when I tried to explain that I was heading to Medellin, she said, "no, let's go" and I was like, "what? where?". She then said, "a mi casa" or to my house...(*A majority of the girls in Colombia are not this forward.)
After that encounter and another 2 hour wait at the bus terminal I finally sat down in my seat for the next 16 hours. Before everyone was even finished sitting-down a girl stood up and started to sing to the entire bus while playing ukulele! She stopped after a few songs and told the bus, in Spanish, "I'm heading to college and I'm trying to save for the books that I need this semester." As she circled around the bus asking for small change donations I couldn't help but drift off into my entrepreneurial mind. You just DON'T see this kind of stuff on the average day in the US (maybe in New York or other large metropolitan areas), but here it seemed common place, and probably not illegal. It amazed me how people with the determination will find whatever way they need to, to achieve success!
As soon as they got under-way, they immediately shut off the lights again and blasted the AC, just like the buses in C. America. This time, the personal reading lights actually worked and I managed to read a few chapters of GoT (Game of Thrones) before nodding off.
I only woke up once to let my "co-pilot" off the bus, and then again at around 9am (later than I usually slept in 'til at hostels). The view was simply amazing when I awoke! Staggering mountains, narrow roads, where we passed slower trucks carrying vegetables from the farmlands, beautiful towns and cities nestled neatly into the sides of the mountains. We stopped for coffee, snacks, and some roadside meat at about 11 and arrived in Medellin at around 2pm...
More on Medellin (a truly amazing city) in my next few posts!