January 12, 2014
We woke up early this morning to get an early start before the heat set in. We checked out of our hotel and were on the road by 7 am hoping to get out of the desert and on the road to Bogota by 10 am. My husband hates heat so getting out seemed prudent. But it was not meant to be.
First, we got a flat tire on the way to the desert. It took my husband over an hour to fix it in the steadily rising heat. He was pretty grumpy when it was all over and now, we were concerned about driving the car into the desert on rough, unpaved roads. We used our spare tire so if we got another flat tire, we would be stuck in the blazing heat for a long time.
Every problem has a solution so we found a big jeep to take us on an hour and a half tour of the desert. The temperature climbed steadily as we explored the multiple habitats of the Tatacoa Desert. The colors shifted from reds to greys to blacks. It was really quite spectacular.
It was already close to 40 degrees Celsius (way over 100 degrees Farenheit) at 11 am when we were done with the tour and ready to get on the road to Bogota, when I realized that I could not find my husband’s cell phone. I borrowed it to take photos since I had used up the memory card on my camera. We looked all over the jeep and could not find it. Crap! I was stressed and my husband was not happy. We wound up doing the entire desert route again, in our car, searching for the cell phone. Luckily we did not get another flat tire, but we could not find the phone. I felt terrible and was not looking forward to a six or seven hour drive back to Bogota with an angry husband.
As we were pulling back to Villavieja, a little voice said, “Look again in the jeep”. And no, I don’t hear strange voices but I do have a strong connection to my intuition and have learned to trust it. I called the driver of the jeep to see where he was and wouldn’t you know it, he was pulling into town just as we were. I could see him crossing the plaza walking towards his jeep as he was talking to me on his cell phone. We got to the jeep at the same time and the driver lifted the cushions of the seat… and… there was the cell phone. Phew! That was a close call but all is well that ends well. I was so happy that I gave the driver a big kiss.
It was all uphill from there, both literally and figuratively. There was hardly any traffic on the road so we made great time. As we drove the five hours from sea level to Bogota’s 2,700 meters (8,600 feet), the weather became progressively cooler and our moods lifted. (Actually my conclusion on this trip is that the perfect temperature can be found at around 1,500 to 1,700 meters, not too hot and not too cold.) This trip has been an incredible adventure and I was sorry that it was over.