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  • Day134

    Tickets for the Saturday Parade

    February 10, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    The parade was set to begin at 1 pm along the Via 40 street. I had tried to enquire on the evening before about the time, the cost of the tickets and where to get them. Interestingly, none knew where to buy the tickets. For the time, they suggested going around 11 am to get good places. The owner of my hostel also suggested that instead of the palcos that were quite expensive, we could look for places organized by private people. These, people normally put up plastic chairs just behind the barrier and are much cheaper than the palcos (balconies). Armed with this information, we had agreed to meet at a junction nearby and from there, go on together to Via 40 which was about 700 mts away from there.
    In the morning, Hristo messaged and informed that the person at the reception had mentioned that he could arrange the tickets for the parade for 75, 000 COP per person. That offer did seem tempting considering that the entry for the Crowning of the Carnival Queen had been 100,000 COP per person. But, we had realized than that there was a cheaper (free) entrance as well so, it could also be possible that the parade too had a free/cheap place. We decided not to buy the tickets for him. When we met at the junction, we discussed this again. It was almost 12 pm. All the good places if they were free or cheap would have been taken up by now. We decided to buy the tickets from the guy at the hotel reception. Hristo was to run back, buy the tickets, while Maria and I would continue to Via 40 and then we would sync up after Hristo had the tickets and knew which place to go to. Maria didn't want us to split up and put her foot down firmly thats we'll all be together and go to the Via 40 amd when a woman does that, you've gotta listen 😁😁
    We all went to the Via 40 together. There were barricades everywhere and the police was searching and checking tickets. They had separate ques for men amd women. I was 1st in the que among the 3 of us. They checked my bag and let me in. No one asked for any tickets. Behind me, Hristo was stopped and asked if he had the tickets. He just pointed to me and was let in. Maria too was searched in the women's que and then asked if she had the ticket. She pointed to both of us and was let in 🤔
    Inside the barricade, there were touts selling tickets. Some of them at 60000 COP, some for 40000 COP. We couldn't really figure out why we were let in without the tickets and what tickets these touts were selling. There was an "official looking" ticket counter next to the barricade. We went and had a look. They were selling tickets for 30000 COP and a combo ticket for 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) for 50,000 COP.
    We just ignored all the touts and continued inside towards the Via 50. Just near the main road, we were stopped by a police guy who singled us out from the whole crowd moving in. He asked for our tickets and on telling we don't have any, asked us to go back to the barricades and go over to the other side of the partition barricade. We asked him where we could buy the tickets, for which he told that this area was reserved for the Navy and the entry was with passes only and that we could get the tickets on the other side.
    Something didn't really add up.. The people around us didn't really look like from the navy and what about the tickets being sold near the entry barricades or by the touts. 🤔 In any case, we didn't have an option since the police guy wasn't leaving us, so we walked back towards the entrance. Just before the entrance, we saw an opening in the partition barricade, where we could cross over to the other side. We crossed over and found ourselves in an area with a lot of private tents with plastic chairs selling the places from 30000 COP to 40000 COP per place. We continued walking along from one tent to another, checking out the prices and places. At the end of this private area, the area for the private balconies started. These were raised platform with chairs to sit on. Each palco had its own entrance and tickets. There were touts selling tickets to the various numbered palcos at different prices but most of them were quoting prices from 100,000 to even 300,000. After walking around for another 10 min, we decided that of we could get a front row seat in one of the private tents, it would be a much better deal than paying 100,000 for a slightly raised seat, that too quite behind since the palcos were already filling up fast. So, we negotiated a price of 70,000 COP for the 3 of us and found a place in the second row in one of the private area. There were people sitting on the floor in front of us but we still had an amazing view.
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