We both woke early this morning, I assume partly because we are anxious about what lies ahead but also because at about 5:00 am a rain storm started with the most amazing heavy rain that sounded like jumbo jets over head. It lasted for a couple of hours. The rain, and its impact on traffic caused the driver taking us to the airport to call and suggest we leave half an hour earlier than planned; and then he arrived 15 minutes earlier still.
We made a very efficient quick stop on the way to the airport at a casa de cambio to change some dollars into Colombian and Peruvian money, and then thanks to light traffic we were at the airport by 11:00 for our 3:00 flight.
The wait and flight were uneventful. Panama International Airport was small, modern, clean, not crowded, and all in all a pleasant experience as airports go. Copa airlines - the Panama national carrier.
Cartagena airport reminded both of us of Coolongatta Airport in Queensland, Australia. Hot and humid, a very small building, and walking across the tarmac to the terminal. The customs and baggage process was quick, we met our transfer without trouble and within 30 minutes we were at our hotel, the Cartagena Plaza on the beach front in the tourist area of Bocagrande - see the map for more details.
A walk around the nearby streets to buy a phone card and dinner rounded out the day.
The South American adventure begins