Monday, March 12, 2007

Welcome To Colombia

GeorgeLots of people complain about bus journeys in Bolivia and Peru, but I haven't had any to complain about yet (excluding my camera loss). That all changed with my first Colombian bus journey yesterday, I won't bore you with the details, no, I will, it was a lot longer than stated, my first seat had zero leg room, my second tilted forward so that I slipped off if I went to sleep and actually seem to have bruised my bum from friction burns or something, I didn't have enough money to pay for it so the driver was supposed to stop, but forgot, despite my reminder (ok, I was partly hoping he'd forget totally), then I Don't Blame Himthe cash machine at the bus station was out of order so I had to give him my MP3 player as a deposit, and have to go back now to reclaim it and pay what I owe. So we arrived past midnight and there were no places at the cheap hostels, or the expensive ones, so I eventually stayed in a hotel and the taxi driver charged me for all the mucking about.

The Church On The BridgeIt had all started so well too, I managed to pay a visit to this church built on a bridge against a rock face where somebody had seen the virgin years before so that the same rock face is now the alter of the church.

Snickers BananaThe further north I have come the more friendly people have become, Colombia being the friendliest yet, in fact a but too friendly, I was a bit worried I might get molested on the bus last night. And I ended up sharing my banana sized and shaped snickers type goo with half the people on the bus, I couldn't have finished it on my own.

I think I said before that the border crossings are getting a little ridiculous, the Ecuador-Colombia crossing was stranger than ever, the buses drop you off and pick you up in no man's land, so you have to walk back into the country you've come from to get your passport stamped and then into the country you're going to to get your passport stamped again and then walk back into no man's land to get on another bus in to you destination country. It would be so easy to miss it all just by accident. Most boarder crossings are the dodgiest places known to mankind, not this one, it was actually quite pleasant, I stopped for a lunch of a sausage that was warmed rather than cooked and some potatoes which were the highlight of the meal.

And another thing, in most countries so far it's been worryingly difficult to tell the difference between the police and the army. Here I don't know the difference between the police, the army and the militia, men in uniform all look the same to me ;) I was going to say how nice it is to be back in a hot country, it feels like I am on holiday again, but there's just been some bloody loud thunder out there atm, hope it's not shells. I was going to walk to the bus station too.

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