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Published: September 14th 2012
Webby here...Apart from our trip down G bar nostalgia lane, catagena was not that great as G describes "a Carribean Blackpool without the candy floss", more like crack pool, judging by the vagrants that wander the shore lines. With this tingling in our minds, we left the murky shores and cast iron statues behind, much like the slaves that were freed there all those years ago and set sail (via a bus) to pastures newer, and greener, and as we were to find out, colder...Bogota, the Colombian capital was to be our destination, a hive of activity, fuelled with peace rally's, markets, cheap food and accommodation and McDonald's, which has still escaped my grasp despite my longing for a quarter pounder, they even tease me with an advert, played constantly on the television out here, it even has a quirky little song...Pan (bread) queso (chesse) carne' (meat) pan...etc. you get the drift. Some salsa thrown in at the end but the Spanish name eludes me at this dusky hour. Anyway, bogota, fun place, cheap. We chilled lots, watched lots of tv series and family guy in the attic in our hostal and basically wained our time there away, it was never on our list of places to go so to save some cash and brain cells we simply cooled out. I might have offended a lady by mistaking her for a man, however to my defence she looked, and sounded like a man, raga bond Australians...Alas, time to leave...
G here, yes, andys ability to speak Spanish, and separate the genders still bewilders his silly head.. I think he's loosing brain power due to the enormous amount of pubic growth on his chin. And don't get me started on the beer consumption. South American beer companies are now sponsored by his drunken ness. Well actually just andy, the beer doesn't contain much alcohol, Budweiser esque, but damn tasty!
So, moving on frombogota,mew decided it was high time to leave and decided on an off route exit plan, this to avoid high costs and being shipped to Lima after 3 agonising days on a coach filled with salsa, air con snot and b rated movies. We were going solo, on a world whinnied adventure that would lead us first of all to ipiales..
Ipiales is pooh, it puts you in such suspense as you journey towards its shoddy platelets.. The bus journey lead us through hobbit terrain of pastures green and purple, babbling brooks and puffs of soft candy floss clouds filled blue hazy skies. *sigh..
Then you arrive in ipiales. Grim, dull and full of unfinished abodes, we fled in haste to The departure terminal. Our hostel (that we had discovered via online exhaustion) informed us it was a mere 15 minutes from the station. This however turned out to be a Latin American 15 minutes, so in our terms of time and arrival guestimates... 2 and a half hours!!! We discovered this 30 minutes into our journey when we saw a sign that informed us we were 74 miles away.. It was time to get off the silly bus and make for Ecuador! Colombia was trying to hold us hostage by dragging us into the mists of its beautifully addictive landscapes and beautifully indulgent people. We had to break this addiction and cold turkey our asses to the border.
This however turned out to be harder than i thought..we had vacated the bus in a strange Tim Burton esque truck stop, Andy ate a dodgy burger, and we decided 5 minutes was definitely long enough to hang around this strange place... Thumb out, we had our hitching smiles on, but nothing. Nothing but overcrowded buses and lorries with no interest in sitting next to a hairy faced man with burger sauce around his chops. It's was looking hopeless..
Webby here...So yes, a lost, unforboding situation we'd stumbled ourselves into. As we waited, all hopeless and foreign, grinning and muttering "si,si, gracias amigo" to passers by,a convoy of official looking vehicles and passengers pulled up. Migration control. Exiting their steeds with a sour looking chinese chap.They sat and ate lunch in a cafe bistro next to us. Now my Spanish is poor, as prior mentioned, yes, thank you and where are the toilets are the extent of my knowledge... But knowledge of vocabulary was not needed in this situation, it was like when your asleep and someone stands over you, subconciously you become aware of their presence, and the laughs and giggles made me conscious of the fact that the migration officers were taking pity on us, the 2 sore thumbs, stood in the street like a fresh spot on the first day of school...Time went by, as did the many buses, all of no use to us. Hard times. Just when hope seemed to be setting like the sun on a misty beach, a saviour, a helping hand. A good good Samaritan. The prior giggling and pointing turned to consideration, hope in the human race restored for that brief moment. A blink of an eye and everything changed. The officers approached us, all warm looking and kind. Speaking a thrash of Spanish, English, american juju they offered us a lift. A lift to the border. Ecuador. Our destination of choice. Miracles, or rather kind souls do happen...In we hopped. Fearless, noble and full of sprite. It was then we spotted the aforementioned Chinese man, despondent and eearily quiet. What have we done? Have we fallen victim to a setup? Was the china man proof? How would the rape play out? Humanity! Samaritans or Satans in official looking clothes? Only the trip would reveal the truth, be it a pleasant border crossing or a fearfull experience surrounded by sheep and coca leaves....
G here, after webbs' small break down, fearful for his front and back passage, and the haunting images of the young jackie chan whipping us senseless for our mere 20£.. Alas, this did not occur, we were however used as some sort of barrier, and had to sit either side of the poor Chinese fellow as we zoomed off to the border. One still wonders what crimes the poor fellow had committed, or accidentally stumbled across to be in such a pickle, either way he was getting booted to ecuador. (He looked so sweet and innocent.. Well, apart from the scarily long finger nails.)
Ecuador for us all, a yay for us at least. Colombia had lost its grip on our souls and let us cross into lands afar-ish.
Mega Soz to all Ecuadorians, but we had no time for tours and Ono on ones, we were on a one way mission to glide through to the southern most part, and ridiculously, the only possible way of legally getting into Peru, and seen as we didn't want to end up like the Chinese guy, we were all about the legal 😊 bus time it was.. Again. It was all pretty simple, and a number of overly enthusiastic local bus workers guided us to the relevant wagons, and we were in and out in just under 2 days.
Only qualm I have with Ecuador is the footy fans.. It was the final Ecuador bus, and we had 6 hours to go. All blissful and sedated we were horrified to hear and smell the hooligans that where to enter our tranquil vessel.. Dressed in yellow and smelling like fried egg and hooch this robust army dumped themselves around us and spoke at a volume only acceptable from god himself. Fog horns got nothing on this lot. Oh how happy we were when they passed out 😊 one shall not let you endure the words that could describe their snores.. I shall pass onto the webbs for happy times, and shocking Spanish.
Webby here...snores, bumps and bad backs, not to mention irrational food vendors entering at all times. This sums up buses here. The 62 to widnes baths pales in comparison to the torments we've endured. Onwards and upwards, or rather downwards in this case as we crossed through the southern lands of Ecuador and onto northern Peru. Home to some of the worlds best surf spots, beautifully warming people, Albeit in surroundings more suitable to a mad max film or an apocalypse laden aftermath. Chiclayo was to be our home for the next few days. Cruising through the place left little to the imagination. An area of arid desert and vultures, the only saving graze were the constant adverts for beer. The holy grail maybe. We arrived at the bus terminal in a bustling city of sorts, maybe the desert was solely for the vultures. Maybe not. We hoped a taxi and blabbed our destination to him. Bags loaded and in we get. The vessel swung an about turn and headed back to the abyss. Desert bound we would be. Our hopes raised when we passed a small beach side cluttering of cafes and bars, maybe this could be fun....We drove past them and continued down the dusty, bone ridden track to a building site where we stopped. Home it would appear. As a child I played on building sites a lot, however I also played with wrestling figures and both were past times I'd long since replaced. Maybe nostalgia would spring its gruesome head once again. Chin up. In we go. The place, Katuwira which means live the dream or some other cliched fraff was a strange old place. The tour revealed its true treasure. We were to stay in a beautiful albeit ugly looking pyramid made from mud and bamboo.Beautys on the inside, and never more relevant than now! What a place!
G here, and here we end it till next time... We endured gastro meals 3 times a day! And purchased a cactus in which we hoped would do so much more than just tast like slug juice, oh the wonders of a cliffhanger... Till next time our dear followers, peace love and beer xxxxxxxxx
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