Misty mountains

Trip Start Oct 23, 2006
Trip End Apr 15, 2009

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We can never predict the experience we will have at any border. Chile and Argentina seem so tame compared to what we experienced leaving Venezuela. Memories of central America border crossings come rushing back as we try to feel our way through.
Thankfully we had the notes from fellow Canadian over landers who had good recent information. It is far too easy to have everything at the actual border so instead they have created this elaborate system which is just as silly as an easter egg hunt where we must search for a hole in the wall on some narrow traffic jammed street where an official person will take money from us and give us some paper stamps which we have to take to another office across the street to have them them officially placed into our passports. This apparently is the departure tax and now we just have to follow the right steps to get out. This is very serious and important step in the process but who would know. We had the heads up but still we had to ask the right questions. Around and around this traffic circle we go, afraid to get off until we know where to go, so each time the traffic stops we ask questions of the policemen who actually have a talent for sorting out the traffic and apparently answering questions at the same time. They pointed us in the right direction but still we are looking for a needle in a hay stack. We finally park and walk in search of the right people and sure enough there they smiling as if waiting for us. It is quite amazing and having nerves of steel and a happy face are required assets if you intend on surviving this ordeal. Then to the next office in the procedure, Oh, it is lunch time so more sitting around in the heat waiting but alas someone is a humanitarian and squeeze's us in even though the office is closed.
Off we go to the Colombian side in search of what awaits us. Looks like we didn't miss any steps and we are officially stamped into Colombia and sent on our way with a "bien viaje". But, Eve is not official yet. We must go to an office in the next city so more driving around lost in the heat. We had a general direction but needed details so asked policemen on a motorcycle who nicely escorted us there.
More running around with papers, getting photo copies, getting Eve's numbers processed by an official sitting under a tarp on the street-oooh nice office -and more waiting because the person who handles the final stamp is out to lunch. So, nothing to do but park under a tree and rest for an hour.
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