Before entering Colombia we had to wait in a huge line of people to get our Ecuadoran exit stamp, but because we had entered at a remote border we weren't in the computer system so we had to get three photocopies of our passport photo page and entry stamp. But it was 6:30 at night and for some reason all the Ecuadoran photocopiers were closed so we had to walk across the border bridge into Colombia to get them done. Then it was onto the Colombian customs where the whole process went smoothly but of course required yet more photocopies. However we did receive a very friendly "Welcome to Colombia!" with our entry stamps. At 7:30pm we were officially into Ipiales, Colombia and looking for a place to stay. Luckily this was one of those rare occasions where we checked the guide book for a cheap place with parking, found the street on google maps and drove straight to it! It was a pretty run down place with a cold shower but we didn't complain, instead grateful we had found a bed so easily we called it a night.
First thing the next morning we got the mandatory SOAT insurance for 66,000 Colombian pesos (COP) which included a commission, but later our friends pointed out they recorded our car as having only a 1400cc engine, oh well. Next we brought a SIM card for my iPhone our first since Bolivia to use to help organise our shipping to Panama. Then we brought some bread and got in trouble for throwing away the receipt before leaving the shop and proceeding to get lost looking for the famous Las Lajas Cathedral not far away. Once we found it the next problem was a carpark as the place was chocka full even on a Tuesday morning. Eventually we paid a lady to park in her driveway but frustrations were starting to run a little high. The parking task over we walked down the busy path to the Cathedral and wandered around for a while enjoying the fairytale views of the gothic styled church set on a bridge spanning a steep river valley.
Rochelle & Will