The OTN Tour of Latin America is over for me. Several brave souls continue on to the second leg in about a week. For those playing catch-up on my little adventure, you can read the posts here:
In my previous post I mentioned feeling like a class traitor by paying for someone to do my washing. Well it gets worse. Sheeri and I (but not Debra) got a random upgrade to business class for the 1 hour flight from Honduras to San Jose, Costa Rica. I think that was the first time I’ve ever flown business. So much room. Seats wide enough to fit my ample butt. Tray cleared as soon as you’ve finished eating… A little taste of the good life, before I go back to coach for my big trip home.
We got to San Jose in the afternoon and spent a little time by the hotel pool. Not being a sun lover, I spent that time sitting fully dressed on a sun lounger with a towel over my head.
I mentioned the trip to Honduras at the end of my previous post. We landed in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with no dramas. A couple of guys from the University were there to meet us, which was a nice touch.
When getting foreign currency from an ATM, I would suggest you ignore anything Debra Lilley tells you to do. Her expert advice lead me to draw out the equivalent of $10 US, rather than the $100 US I planned to get. We couldn’t even pay for our food.
Last year I wrote a post about how I was being driven crazy by silly things people try to do with virtualization. That spawned the idea to do an “introduction to virtualization” style presentation.
When I posted my abstracts for the OTN Tour of Central America I accidentally included the abstract for this presentation. It wasn’t until I was already on the road and reading through a conference agenda that I noticed this and had one of those “oh sh*t!” moments. Since I had already put down a bunch of ideas for the presentation, I decided to write it, rather than ask for a change to the agenda. I’ve now presented this session a few times…
We arrived in Guatemala at night, went straight to the airport and parked ourselves in the hotel bar for a few minutes before bed. Seeing armed guards in front of the hotel restaurant was more than a little unnerving. On one hand, having the guards should make you feel safer, but on the other hand, the fact they may be necessary is a little scary…
The Guatemala event is over. I will write a proper post about it on the plane tomorrow, but I just wanted to share three photos from the speakers room.
We arrived at Trinidad & Tobago in the evening and it was hot and humid. I decided to wash some clothes in the hotel room sink, which was a mistake. It was so humid that even after about 36 hours my clothes were still damp and smelled a bit like wet dog when I packed them. Asking around it sounds like Guatemala will be just as humid, so I might have to use a hotel laundry service to get my clothes clean.
Getting to Ecuador from Colombia was really quick and easy. I think the flight time from Cali was about 45 minutes. We arrived late in the day, so it was bed and straight to the conference.
We had a little car trouble on the way to the venue, so we were a little late. Fortunately my laptop was ready to plug in and go, so that’s what I did. I think the translators got an easier time during this conference, because I got the speed of my presentations about right. Both talks went well and I got to speak to a lot of people between sessions. I also got to do an interview for the user group and a local computer magazine. I was famous for 15 seconds in Quito.
Let me start by apologising for spelling Colombia incorrectly on previous posts. I think I’ve corrected all the mistakes (I hope). Also, the name of the tour doesn’t really reflect the actual locations, since it contains two South American, one Caribbean and three Central American countries. I’ve heard multiple names for the tour, none of which are quite correct for all the countries involved, so I’m going to stick with this name for the sake of consistency. Once again, sorry if any people don’t like the tour name…
Update: I switched to “Latin America”, since this fits more of the countries (5/6).
The journey from Birmingham to Cali (Colombia) was very long!
It started with a quick flight across to Amsterdam and a 1.5 hour wait for my connection to Panama. The flight to Panama took about 11 hours. It wasn’t a bad flight, but it felt super-long because I knew it wasn’t the last flight of the day. I had a 4+ hour wait at Panama for the final flight to Cali.
Panama airport is pretty small and not really the place to hang around for 4 hours. Just about the only entertainment was watching the “junk in the trunk” that was on display everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. It seemed like everywhere I looked was something that made Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce look like they had flat asses…