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Colombia - 1942

Feb. 2. Off for Colombia! We had a great sendoff at the Union Station. Eugene Callaghan came with gardenia, Dorothy Hambidge, Marion Fessenden and Frances White with a corsage for Clara and a carnation for me. At train time, Gove and Russell appeared. Train left a little late but we had a good night, except for the inconvenience of my long legs. A reclining coach seat is not long enough for me.

Feb. 3. After a shave and some orange juice I felt much better. We stepped off the train at Jacksonville and found the temperature to be below freezing. It was also cold at St. Augustine and we didn't feel that the view of the city from the railroad was very attractive. Arrived at Miami nearly on time and found even Miami a bit chilly. After checking in at the Columbus Hotel we walked along the seawall under the coconut palms and watched the boats, mostly pleasure craft, going to and fro. As we crossed Biscayne Boulevard on the way back to the hotel, a gust of wind raised Clara's hat and in my zeal to save it, I broke her glasses. The hotel clerk suggested the Southern Optical Co. and although it was then after hours, they ground the edge and drilled a new hole without charge. Dinner at the "Seven Seas" and to bed early.

Feb. 4. We were called at 5.15 AM and had orange juice and hot Postum in a shadowy corner of the dark and silent hotel dining-room; then we assembled our baggage on the sidewalk -- suitcases, bags, overcoats, umbrellas, camera, and a big paper-wrapped box (Guatemala palms, potted, sent by O. F. Cook as a gift to Armando Dugand, Director of the Instituto Ciencias Naturales at Bogotá). The bus was to leave the hotel corner at six; a few other travellers came out of the darkness and joined in the silence. The bus proved to be a couple of taxis, which filled themselves and drove off through several miles of blackness, delivering us at the Dinner Key seaplane base at about half past six. Then came an hour and a half of preliminaries. The passengers were weighed, all the baggage was weighed, every bag was opened and examined. Papers seemed to be the chief object of suspicion; our letter from Doña Paulina to her sisters was read with anxious thoroughness. Passports and certificates were examined at the ticket window; long questionnaires were filled in by the ticket agent.