Unfortunately it was time to say goodbye to Colombia today. Once we left Cartagena, we have been impressed with how friendly people are here! Even today at the border, Patrick was surrounded by guys who wished us all the best for our journey. From our love motel we drove to the ‘Sanctuario de Las Lajas‘, an impressive basilica built over a raging river! The basilica is surrounded by beautiful green hills. It was very cold and windy at our viewpoint so we didn’t hang around for too long and headed to the border.
It was about a fifteen minute drive to the border. We checked out of Colombia in less than 10 minutes (it took us two weeks to get in) and drove over the international bridge to Ecuador. We were stopped by the army in no-man’s-land. The officer had a very funny chat with us – involving trying to understand the job content of a consultant in little Spanish and laughing about carrying tons of cocaine in our trunk. With a handshake, wave and big smile he let us drive into the country without the tiniest car check. Then we headed for immigration and after a short queue we got stamped into the country. This was going much too smooth for our luck and so when we had to do the final step (get the vehicle permit), our fortune changes. Patrick had to collect all types of documents (copy of passport photo page and stamp, insurance, …) to get the permit document started and then wait for a very, very long time to have the admin finished. So in the end it took us a good 2 hours still to get across the border.
Happy to be in Ecuador we went looking for tonight’s campground. We wanted to fill Rodrigo with Ecuador’s cheap fuel (about €0,40 per liter) but there is a limit of $10 for filling up (apparently too many Colombians come here to fill up). At the second petrol station, Patrick used all his charm on the female pump attendant and she let us fill the car up completely. The ‘Hosteria Aruba’ no longer accepts campers but the ‘Hosteria Oasis’ next door let us stay for 20USD with access to a pool. After the long drive and heavy border crossing today, Patrick wasn’t up for more driving so we decided to give ourselves a little treat. There even is a bonus furry animal that wanders around the cabanas here… Tomorrow we will go and explore our new country.
Dame tu mano!
Y venga con migo!
Vamonos al viaje para buscar los sonidos magicos