Return to the USA: Bogota to Orlando

As my time with Jessica was finishing up, I started thinking of what I’d do next.  The plan was to continue South to Ecuador, maybe even Peru.  But that was a lot of mountain, and I wasn’t really pumped about it.  After 6 months of cycling, it was all becoming the same.  A new place wasn’t all that exciting anymore.

I looked at return flights to the US from Bogota and compared it against leaving from other major cities that I might be passing through, like Quito and Lima.  One-way flights from other South American cities were ~$500.  But I found flights from Bogota to Orlando on Jetblue for $80!!  And this was a flight that was only a week away.  That’s the bargain basement price of Destiny.

It was a relief to know my trip was over.  I’d had enough.

Getting a cardboard bike box in Bogota was harder than I thought.  I went to the Bicycle Shop part of town (that’s how Bogota was set up — all the shops of a certain type were in one part of town), and asked for a box at every store, but nobody had one, or they were too stingy with their boxes.  In the US, bike shops want to give them away.  One store had a box that was fit for a smaller bike and they wanted to charge me for it.  An option of one choice.  Then I had to walk it back a couple miles to the hostel.

Jetblue charged me for bringing the boxed bike.  I think it was $50.

On September 1, 2009, I flew into Orlando, back to  the US.  My mom lives in Tampa and my plan was to surprise her, so I didn’t tell her I was coming back.  So, my ride out of the airport was my bike.  I had to put it back together.

I got a pretty good amount of attention for re-assembling my bike by baggage claim, but not many people asked what I was doing; mostly just stares.  One couple, who were in town to visit Disney World, asked where I had biked to.  I told them Colombia.  “Columbia, South Carolina!”


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