South America by Geezer
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01-04-2013, 06:47 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Dec 29 Into Ecuador
Four of us left Pasto for the boarder today - the hotel we had
the previous night
o was a pretty good sized town but you still see th
ese carts wending their way down the streets
Saw this thing parked
next to a gas station. Looks like a giant tanker with a
on the back. Don't know if it was just on standby for crow
d control or they got involved in the Water Day festivities the day before
. . . wouldn't that be a hoot to watch, bunch of guys
a building and this
comes lumbering around the corner blasting
Stopped at the famous Santuario de las Lajas, a Cathedral built over a gorge in a spectacular setting.
goes that in the 18
Century somebody saw the image of the Virgin Mary in the rock and the spot became a pilgrimage for many. Between 1916 and 1944 the Church was built.
We can certainly attest to the place being a popular
– we were there on a Saturday and there were tons of people making their way to the church.
The church was packed with
quite a procession going in and out
he long pathway down (which of course was t
he pathway back up . . .
's Wheezin Geezer Time" sung to the
tune of the Howdy Dood
theme song) was packed with vendors selling just about anything you could think of
This guy was selling Llama rides
gorge which the Cathedral spans
They have even built a nice park and picnic area at the bottom
The building is quite the structure with a massive foundation to the bottom of the gorge
is guy was carrying a large bag of some
thing to one of the vendors on the other side of the river
riar/Monk with a funky haircut - looks lik
e a crown
See a lot o
f groups like these guys. Usually have a dummy (more on that tradition later) with one dressed up as a "lady" collecting donations. I think these were a bunch of local c
This little guy was
quite enthralled with the bikes - so he gets a test ride
Got to the boarder at about noon. Check out of Colombia was straight forward – 15 minute wait in line for passport stamp then over to Aduana and that guy takes the papers for the bike and says “Thanks”. Done.
In front of the
Meet a couple of Colombians starting a South America trip and a couple of guys from the US doing the whole Americas trip. Ken and Ben – father and son riding GSAs. Ben has a motorcycle rental business in Colorado.
Cross the bridge to Ecuador, park and stand in line for over an hour and a half to get the passport stamped. There were busloads of people waiting to get in. Apparently a lot of Colombians travel to Ecuador for New Years celebrations. What a gong show. The line started around the end of the parking lot to the left and t
hey would let you in to the Migración office under the blue and white sign one by one.
Run into our young German friends again
- Lawrence is 6' 6" - handy for changing light bulbs
While we are waiting a whole bunch more bikes show up – I think there was 25 or 30 bikes waiting. All the new arrivals were from Colombia – real friendly guys as we try to tell them about our trips in our rotten Spanish.
Aduana was pretty straight forward. Get a photocopy of the entrance stamp, they fill out some paperwork and done. All together it was 3 ˝ hours – the longest crossing yet.
Decided to take the first hotel we find so we aren’t riding in the dark. Stop in the nearby town of Tulcan and find an ok place for $12 each.
They use the US $ in Ecuador. Easier to understand but I was starting to think in terms of thousands of pesos in Colombia - 12 i
s not a number you hear
Ken and Ben joined us. A lousy pic of them - Ben on the left
Went to a Chinese Restaurant for dinner – had a kind of Chop Suey except they mixed French fries in it instead of noodles. Weird. Don’t usually put pics up of marginal food but this was so strange, here it is.
Tasted ok but what doesn't after a few beers?
- RexBuck's Latin America
South America by Geezer
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