So there we were at Santa Marta airport waiting to board the plane. Strange….everybody had winter jackets on and generally warmly clothed….anyway, boarded and got on. In Bogota I then understood why everybody had warm clothes on…it was freezing! Well 17c but still freezing for us. Taxi to the hostel, paid and in. The Masaya hostel in old Bogota was just great. Very hippy in everything and slightly surprised to see kids but so welcoming. We had a room to ourselves with 5 beds in it and shared bathroom. The hostel cat had 4 kittens so kids happy. We could buy breakfast at $2/pp, clean and silence at 10pm. Suited us perfect.

Old Bogota is beautiful, also we could walk to the other tourist areas and we went to see the world famous gold museum. Amazing displays of art and every day things from so long ago. We also saw the emerald museum where James had the strop as he wanted to buy an emerald but of course we couldn’t afford it….did read somewhere that you can apparently buy emeralds for as little as $10 but obviously not here. We walked and enjoyed the city and people but of course all through this I kept thinking of Chico. Now I saw street children but luckily no really little ones as I would probably take them with me…but sad anyway…nowhere to go except underground, living in the sewage system and if you google youtube for streetkids in Bogota you will find some chocking footage and stories. There is few charities that give them food and washing facilities and you can also sponsor a child to help him go to school…most of them are on drugs and surviving on petty theft but what would you do if nobody has ever wanted you, nobody cares, you are invisible to everybody around you and even the country sends death squad out occasionally and cleanses the street….heartbreaking!!!!
We also saw the underground salt Cathedral, an hours bus drive from Bogota. Only three in the world. Amazing place.
So time came to take the flight to London via JFK airport and arrived Saturday morning to a freezing London and a freezing house. We were staying at a friends house in Solesbridge lane and they had gone that morning for a week away. Made cups of tea, enjoyed the tv and of course the kids went bonkers at the space and toys that Toby has! Afternoon sleep and cross the road to see few more friends and kids to play with….late night! But oh so much fun to see everybody.

Mum came on sunday from Finland and we all settled in to seeing people, going to London and playing in the garden. And then the awful thing happened! Went to friends 50th birthday party and Charlie broke his leg on the trampoline….I just bawled my eyes out, devastetad for him and all our plans for parks and museums etc. Whole leg in plaster, A & E in Watford was great and back home with a zimmer frame and a very sad Charlie in a lot of pain. Well mum back to Finland, Toby and family back home and then a whole lot of minecraft as Charlie could join in. Couldn’t go to London on my own but we managed LEGOLAND and London zoo with Tamla, thank you!!!

We went to school and saw lots of James classmates and had play dates and play time on the common, joined in an few toddler groups for Alice….and so the days went by and time to pack our rubbish back into 5 bags. Cheese from Finland and teabags, mint sauce and salad cream from Uk plus all the other bits we needed for the boat. Borrowed a scale to make sure we were under 23 kg and all looking good. Thank you Chris and Kathy for letting us stay in your home, hopefully we weren’t to annoying!

So off to the airport and little did we know what palaver we would have with our bags…every single bag was over the limit, more to the 30kg…and flying Delta they would have none of it. So off to the side and reshuffle and pack again. Lucky we had an extra bag that we could make as a cabin bag and our cabin bags were suddenly stuffed. Hated it. I travel light on cabin bags and now we looked like we never been anywhere before as we dragged our 5 bloody cabin bags around the airport and dreading to stuff it in the lockers on the plane. We also had 2 connections to deal with plus Charlie in a wheelchair and Alice in pushchair…it would get worse….

Came to security check and what did I have in one of the bloody cabin bags? A neuff gun…well, that went down well with security….as Chris then starts to take the mickey. ” Yeah, killer gun, be afraid etc” So they were getting rather stroppy and me? Just embarrassed! Off to check in again for Chris to check the gun in. Couldn’t leave it as Tamla bought it for the boys and could you imagine 2 boys and 1 gun? Not worth it. Nearly missed the plane with all this but you should have seen me trying to move from the security on my own with wheelchair, pushchair, 5 bloody cabin bags….good buy London….we all made the first flight….


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