Hugh and Amanda bring a bottle of Ron Viejo de Caldas to dinner in lieu of wine and insist on wearing matching ponchos at the table, even though Amanda’s makes her look pregnant and the wool gives Hugh an allergy.
“I bought them in a little market in Nobsa in Colombia,” he explains. “Don’t you just love bartering? Haga me buen precio and all that.”
They reveal that they made history by flying on the first Avianca flight direct from London to Bogotá and insist they sat next to Gabriel García Márquez, even when another guest points out that he died last year.
“That’s magic realism for you,” says Hugh.
“We were away for so long that when we got home last week I forgot where I was and tried to barter a discount on some Le Creuset in John Lewis!” laughs Amanda.
“Yes... really got out of the comfort zone this time,” shares Hugh. “Even started dreaming in Spanish. Colombia is the new Mexico,” he adds, conspiratorially. “You heard that from me first.”
A London bus goes past the window.
“Oh my God,” says Hugh to his wife, “Doesn’t that remind you of that a-mazing trip we did in Cartagena?” No one points out that it’s been a decade since they travelled on public transport in London.
“It totally does,” says Amanda. “We did a tour round the city in this amazing chiva, with the music turned up full volume playing authentic Champeta. Couldn’t even hear ourselves speak.”
“That must have been a relief,” thinks their host.