We leave the magic of the jungle behind and face the bitter reality. Close to the Colombian border, safety is our top priority as there are many ugly stories about drug smugglers in the area that are not to be trifled with. The increased police and military presence around Nueva Loja underscores our need for a sheltered place to sleep.
We found what we were looking for at the city fire department. There we are allowed to stand next to the emergency vehicles. The next morning we go to the border.
The border crossing could have been very easy if I had remembered to fill out the online forms beforehand. I had already done that – but then when I still thought that the car would be at the mechanic’s in Quito for a maximum of one week.
After that, all plans for crossing the border were lost in frustration. Boundaries just aren’t fun.
We were already standing at the border early in the morning, but it will take until the afternoon before we finally cross it.
The real problem is not the forms themselves, but that we are forced to fill them in, even though the internet connection is so bad there. So we spend hours with web pages that we have to fill out over and over again as soon as the internet connection is up. At the border we get to know other travelers. A camper with a family with two small children from the Netherlands and a couple with a child from France also enter Colombia. These are finished earlier and we will meet later on the other side. Unfortunately that doesn’t work.
When we are finally in Colombia, the usual procedure in a new country is pending. Get a new SIM card, change money and withdraw money. Fortunately, petrol is as cheap there as in Ecuador. We’re really excited about the new country and can’t wait to dive into it. And first we get to know the river world of Putumayo.