Andres slept through the night again, but was quite restless at one point which kept us awake a bit.
We got a call from Magnolia this morning that she would come to the hotel around midday to pick us up and take us to get Andres a passport.
I went out for a walk to the supermarket across the river so I could buy a few supplies for Andres – we needed new nappies and formula and Leanne wanted some snacks to try and help keep her energy levels up – she still isn’t eating much, but at least is feeling a little better.
After breakfast we sat around the front porch talking to the other families and playing with the kids. The three new families had left for Chiquitines to collect their children this morning and so it was great to meet them all when they returned. The hotel is full of families and children now – and surprisingly, now that the other Australian couple have left, Andres is the only baby under 12 months old. Most of the new allocations have been for children 12 – 18 months old.
After a quick lunch, I changed Andres, packed a bag with nappies and a bottle of water plus a serving of formula and went out with Magnolia to get the passport. Again, only one of us was required and Leanne wasn’t feeling up to going out so it was me who had to take Andres.
It was a short drive into the central business district and to the passports office – we submitted our application, paid the fee and then sat down to wait. I had been told getting it done in one hour was considered quick. We were out of there in pretty much 25 minutes flat with a new passport for Andres – in Australia it takes ten working days, unless you pay for a priority processing service which still takes two working days! Admittedly, the Australian passports are far more secure and sophisticated.
So now that we have a passport for Andres, we are finished with our tasks in Cali – we could theoretically leave for Bogota tonight, but Leanne isn’t feeling great still and we want to do a few things here yet, including visiting Cali Zoo again.
Ever since we found out that we were ready to sign the sentencia more than a week ahead of schedule, we had thought of doing a sidetrip up to the coast to Cartagena. We had emailed Ricky (our travel agent) last night asking for information about flights and costs – but had forgotten that today was a public holiday in Australia and she wasn’t in the office!
Our original plan had been to fly direct from Cali to Cartagena for four or five nights and then back to Bogota for a few days before flying to Santiago on our original schedule. However, this turned out to be inconvenient so we changed our plan to fly to Bogota first, complete our business there and then do a return trip to Cartagena before we leave for Chile at the end of next week. We’re waiting on pricing and flight details now – should have them tomorrow. We also need to do some research into hotels – we asked our interpreter/guide Magnolia for advice there and will look into our options.
Before dinner, the Finnish couple who collected their child the same day that we did, held a little party out on the front porch to celebrate them signing their sentencia. With all the new kids there, it was a busy and noisy affair – it was great to see so many families at once. I brought the laptop and set it up to show a slideshow of all the photos I’d taken of the families over the past few days – I ended up with requests from most of the families for copies of some of the photos.
I’m really pleased with the quality of the photos I’m getting from the camera with my 24-105mm lens. When we did our trip to Chile and Argentina at the beginning of last year, I took all three lenses (wide angle 10-22mm, standard 24-105mm, and long zoom 100-300mm). The 24-105mm was my best lens at the time, it had the best quality, was the fastest (F4), and had the quickest focus. It was also the heaviest of the three. However, I think I took no more than 1 or 2 photos with that lens the entire 6 weeks we were away – it was simply not the ideal lens for most of the photos I was taking.
The best environment for this lens I find is for taking photos of people, and we didn’t do that much of that type of photography on our trip last year. However, this trip I’ve been taking mostly people shots – and so this lens has seen the bulk of the action. I’m now glad to have spent the money on that lens – the photos have been great.
In other news, Leanne is starting to feel much better now – although she’s still not quite feeling 100% yet.