Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We Arrive in Colombia

Another border crossing, with a myriad of bus changes and the usual confusion that arises when arriving in a new country. South American borders are rarely a straightforward affair, with immigration offices usually unmarked and often a good walk between one country’s exit and the other’s entry. After a bit of wandering, which never feels like a bit of wandering when you’re carrying around 30kg of belongings, we found the various offices and got our stamps for Colombia. After hopping between Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador for so long, it felt fresh to be in a new country. Another bus (to the bus station) and then another bus after that, and we were on our way into Colombia.

The scene at The Koala Inn, Pasto

By nine o’clock, we were in the non-descript town of Pasto that had completely shut down for the night, and we wandered the streets, very warily (the Lonely Planet infuses all who read the Colombia chapter with an amazing amount of paranoia) looking for food. Eventually we found a place that claimed to be Mexican, but served only drinks and pizzas. The menu also advertised sandwiches (Cuban sandwiches), one of which Angie ordered, but my instructions on how to make a pizza leaving off the chicken and ham pushed the waiter’s order taking abilities past their maximum capacity, and poor Angie didn’t eat that night, save for a packet of chips bought on the way home.

Feeling we had exhausted most of the possibilities of Pasto, we decided to push on the next day. We did manage to find a good breakfast, which was a perfect way to celebrate our nine-month anniversary of travel and the halfway point of our trip. After a large meal involving some delicious Colombian coffee, we checked out one of the town squares, an interestingly sloped and sliced expanse of paving bricks. It was an interesting place, but the old man who walked by muttering ‘be careful, be careful’ put us on edge and we got out of there after a couple of photos.

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