Ausgerüstet mit Flipflops, Badehose und T-shirt bin ich im nassen und kalten (18 Grad ) Bogota angekommen. Da ich keinen früheren Flieger nach Chile kriegen konnte, verbrachte ich noch 2 Nächte in der Hauptstadt. Dort habe ich noch einige Freunde von meiner Schule in Medellin getroffen. Glücklicherweise war genau an dem Wochenende das Fussball-derby in Bogota, was wir uns natürlich nicht entgehen liessen. 50'000 Leute sorgten für sensationelle Stimmung. Das Spiel, naja, hat mich an den FC St. Gallen erinnert ;) Am nächsten Tag lief ich dann zur Basilica de Monserrate hoch, wo man eine herrliche Aussicht über Bogota hat. Bekannt ist die Stadt aber auch für die vielen Graffities (achte im Bild auf den Pfosten als Teil des Graffities). Am dritten Tag flog ich dann von Kolumbien nach Chile in die Wüste San Pedro de Atacama.Read more
From the reserve I caught a bus to the border town of Tulcan, there a taxi takes you to the border where the immigration office is. Fun Fact: both countries offices are more or less your responsibility to go to and get you stamp. Otherwise you can pretty much just walk across the border and skip the immigration part, however leaving might be a different story if you never got your entry stamp.
I waited in line in Ecuador with both those coming and leaving and got my exit stamp. I thing walked across the Rumichaca bridge that leads into Colombia. Interestingly enough Ecuador has big welcome to Ecuador signs, Colombia does not.
Once across I got into another much larger line in the rain for the Colombian immigration office. It sort of felt like waiting in line at an amusement park as the office is partially outdoors and the booths look like ticket counter. After an hour or so I got my entry stamp and was on my way.
I shared a taxi with two French guys into Ipiales the border town and walked to a cheap hotel called Hotel Belmonte. I planned to stay the night there. I walked a bit around the town if mostly stores as Colombia is much cheaper than Ecuador and many people cross over to buy goods.
It was odd not using dollars anymore but 2000 pesos ( less than a dollar) for an empanada and coke! Ya can't beat it!
My first reaction to Colombia was the buildings seemed a bit more colorful and the sidewalks were tiled.
The next day I got up early and caught a local bus to Las Lajas sanctuary a neo-gothic church built between a gorge where a deaf and mute girl once heard the Virgin Mary and cured her while traveling in a storm.
The sanctuary is really incredibly beautiful placed between two large mountain walls with a river rushing underneath! It is regarded as Colombia's most beautiful church.
It felt good to be I another country with a while slew of new places, people, and adventures awaiting!Read more