Ecuador to Colombia

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Ecuador to Colombia

Finally we left the Finca Sommerwind campground somehow, after a long stay. There were few lazy moments and nice slices of German cakes. The drive towards the border was kind of slow, dust carried by the wind in the desert landscape with lots of roadworks everywhere. The shocker of the day were the gas stations close to the border, let’s say starting 50 km from the borderline, which either would not sell diesel to us at all because we are ‘extranjeros’, either they would try to charge no less than triple of the regular price. In the meanwhile locals were filling up canisters with fuel in the back of their truck in order to sell it on the other side of the border. A bit of disgusting moment. It’s like in Laredo, Texas they would sell the gas at triple price to me because I’m Canadian. So I said ‘screw it’ we’re at half tank we’ll fill up in Colombia then. Finally a gas station just a kilometre or so from the border had mercy and we filled up. The exit from Ecuador took few minutes, stamp out and cancel the car permit, nice, polite officials. The Colombian side had a lineup at the passport check, took some time to get to the window. They blankly turned me down to enter with my EU passport as it had no exit stamp from Ecuador in in that document then they gladly grabbed the ‘entry fee’ of 171,000 pesos for my Canadian passport. No visas needed for Canadians but there is a, khm, ‘entry fee’ based on reciprocity. There are no fees for EU visitors. The second not exactly correct thing of the day. I asked them what exactly an exit stamp from Ecuador has to do with Colombian entry, but the answer was below daycare level. It’s my right to chose what passport I present at the entry of any border in the world. Then there was a lineup at the car importation office as well, so it took some time to get the paper. Not problematic, just time consuming. Photocopies were required for passport, entry stamp, driver license and car registration paper from Canada. Insurance just across the road (SOAT) $50.00 for three months. The border-crossing has ATM only on the Ecuadorian side, none on the Colombian one. Therefore the only way to get pesos, the most liquid money so far on the trip, is from crook money exchangers. Make sure you shove into their face your own calculation as their calculators are rigged to show less, sort of 2×2=3.5.  The lack of ATM at the border is encouraging the black market money exchange, but at least there were no ‘border helpers’. Other than that officials were polite and efficient, once your turn comes up at the window. All n’ all it needed more than an hour and half only on the Colombian side to get all the papers, not exactly a breeze. There is a tourist info at the border and you can get some nice printed materials about Colombia, so far the best welcome in Latin America. Country No.11 of the trip.


By | 2016-09-05T01:37:57+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Categories: Colombia, Ecuador, travel|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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