30 hours on a bus.....

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
1
32
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Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, November 1, 2010


A good mate Daniel was going to be in Bogota, Colombia around the start of November so i had arranged to catchup with him. I also am in need of some Spanish classes to help smooth out my spoken Spanish so it was time to move onto Colombia.

The route to Bogota was as follows:
Quito > Tulcan (Ecuador border town) > Ipales (Colombian border town) > Bogota
The next 40 hours would be ..... interesting.

The taxi picked me up at 6.30 and drove me to the bus terminal on the far Northern outskirts of Quito, the taxi cost $8 USD.
At the market i had bumped into the elderly lady from Spain (from the Galapagos boat) and she was planning to go to Colombia as well but on Tuesday, however she didn't want to do the crossing alone (for safety just in case) so we organised to meet at the terminal and catch the bus together.

The bus left the terminal 10 minutes early (lucky we were there 1/2 hour before) and costed $4.80 for the 5 hour ride to the border.
It was nice to have some company on a bus for once and we spent the time chatting and she correcting my Spanish pronunciation etc. 

At Tulcan we negotiated a fare to the border for $3.50, we were told that $2 was the price to pay however it was raining hard so we didn't have alot of bargaining power. 
Traffic was really bad and so it was slow going.

The Ecuadorian Immigration was hopeless and slow then we had to walk the 200m across the border to the Colombian Immigration. They surprisingly were much more efficient however i hard to argue with the guy as he wanted to give me a 50 day visa and i needed a 60 day. (If you stay longer they charge you a fine for every day you are over) however i left with my 60 visa stamped in my passport. All up it took us over an hour to complete both sides.

There was lots of taxis waiting on the Colombian side heading to the border town of Ipales so we were able to negotiate a cheap fare of $7,000 pesos (or $3USD).

In Quito we wernt able to get much infomation on the busses from Ipales to the rest of Colombia so when we got to teh terminal we were hoping that there was busses and that we wouldnt have to stay the night there.

 Luckily busses leave almost every hour and there was one leaving for Popayan for her at 2pm and another company was leaving for Bogota around the same time so we said our goodbyes and climbed aboard our busses.

The bus to Bogota was semi-cama, took 25 hours and costed $91,000 pesos (or $45 USD).
We had lots of stops at towns to pick up people however come 1am the bus was pretty empty so those of us remaining were able to have a double seat each so we could spread out alittle and sleep. Sadly the bus driver was terrible and hooned around tight corners at 70-90km/ph aswell as tore over speed bumped at 50+ km/ph (we all got airborne a couple of times) so sleeping was pretty tough but i managed maybe 3 hours.  

Somehow we arrived in Bogota around 1; an hour early and finding a taxi to the hostel was not a problem, i was just thankful that the bumpy, 4 wheel drive style bus drive was over and that i could soon shower and relax with Dan and a beer or 2.

All up from Quito to Ecuador it costed me approx $65 USD which even tho it meant 30 hours on a bus it was a way cheaper option than flying (flights are between $200-300 USD).          
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Maureen on

Interesting journey

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