Colombia to Ecuador

Another night on a bus for 52000 pesos (£12) taking the long, winding road from Cali to Ipiales – at the Colombian border. This bus had TVs in the backs of the seats, so I dozed watching six different comedies dubbed in Spanish, sat next to Henry from Cali, who was going the same way as me to Ecuador.
_MG_2870I was finally having a beautiful sleep, when the bus stopped and people got off. I then realised everyone had got off, and the driver was patiently waiting for me, as we had arrived in Ipiales. We got off the bus and felt the chilly 7am mountain air. Henry from Cali (where it’s always warm) had forgotten the only jacket he owns, so was shaking like it was -20c in his T shirt. I decided to be nice and lent him my hoody after I found my other jumper in my bag.
IMG_2831We took a taxi to the actual border for 7000 pesos (£1.60) and went into Colombian immigration to be stamped out. Probably not the best move, but we decided to stop for breakfast before crossing the border. Having not slept much I felt a little better after some huevos revueltos (scrambled egg) with strange, sweet bread and a coffee, sitting next to people eating full dinners (breakfasts, apparently) of rice, chips and meat. Off we went, over the bridge to Ecuador, to the one of the most unorganised immigration offices ever seen.
IMG_2832People were being told to queue here to enter, and there to leave, then being told the opposite. It was all very jolly, laughing at the German boys lack of Spanish, and the fact that no one knew where the queue was, or why some of us had a long paper and others had a short one, until one poor lady started worrying that her husband was still waiting for her outside, and collapsed on the floor. Everyone was very quick, they caught her as she fell, and carried her outside to wait for a medico. We were all a bit more quiet after that.
IMG_2887Finally, we got to the front and were stamped into Ecuador, after being there about 90 minutes. A taxi to the border town Tulcan, for $3.50 (£2.20) then the bus to Quito ($5/£3.20) via Ibarra ($3/£1.90) – where I had decided to stay for a few nights in a village in the mountains. Henry from Cali teaches origami to children. He made me a tulip and then showed me how to make a talking frog.
_MG_2833After a few hours we got to Ibarra and said goodbye. I bought some cake, and took a taxi to the village of La Esperanza, 6km away and arrived at my rustic little hostel where the final day of the weekend fiesta was beginning. They gave me some lunch and asked if I wanted to sleep or to go dancing at the church to celebrate San Pedro. I was sooo tired but YOLO lets go dancing. All the women were dressed in beautiful traditional dresses and hats with lots of beads and jewellery.
_MG_2859I then realised the next day, that for the indigenous people from the village, these are still their everyday clothes, worn with a smaller black hat. One lady on the bus smiled at my peacock feather earrings, as she told me they pin them to the side of their hats. The party was on the basketball court next to the church, where people were dancing to the alternating songs of the band and then the loud speaker.
_MG_2842_MG_2846I had to wear this Ugly Betty poncho and a ridiculous hat, apparently.
_MG_2851A lot of strange home brews were passed around, and ladies would arrived carrying their chickens to be “offered”.  This went on until the night, so I did go back for a nap before more evening dancing. Bienvenidos a Ecuador!

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2 responses to “Colombia to Ecuador

  1. I hope Henry from Cali returned your hoody?
    Loved your Ugly Betty puncho!!! Made me laugh – a lot!! Haha! That will teach you to go to these places!

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