Yes, with an ‘o’ – well actually, two of them – no ‘u’. As in Colombia, South America! It’s the one South American country that meets Central America, sharing a border with Panama. In this location it is also the only South American Country to have coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
Colombia covers an area roughly equivalent to the US states of California and Texas, or the European countries of France, Spain and Portugal. This makes it the 26th-largest country in the world, and the fourth-largest in South America. In elevation it varies from sea level to over 5000m (over 16400 feet.) Bogotá is ~8700 feet!
Columbia is GMT-5 hours, but does not observe the evil changing the clock twice a year thing so at the moment they are just two hours ahead of PDT. There don’t seem to be any direct flights from Northern California, and I’m sorta blocking out the travel time for the two flights we’ll be taking.
Much of the country is actually north of the equator. If we were just visiting Bogotá, it would be a Northern Hemisphere trip. Villa de Leyva, a picturesque colonial village which is our second destination, is likewise above the equator. However, we’ll also be making an excursion to Leticia and its jungly surroundings. The Amazon! Which is the southern tip of the country, below the equator, and on the border with Brazil and Peru. Should be good times as long as we don’t get carried off by giant mosquitos.
And yeah, why Colombia? Although I know a couple of folks who are from there, it wasn’t particularly on my list of places to go (huh, part of the last international trip was kinda like that…) – but then one of the Colombian friends is getting married, and she and her spouse-to-be decided to do it in Colombia and invite a bunch of us to go celebrate with them. Um, OK. Now that I’ve started learning a bit about the country I’m getting pretty excited, and it should be good to have a local connection!