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bogota reprise

I arrive back in Bogota at the central transport terminal at 5AM after a 7 hour bus ride. Stopping only for a restorative cup of coffee, I head straight to the Venezuelan Embassy where I am redirected to the Consulate a further 5 kilometres away. It is like any Consulate anywhere – queues, security, stony eyed officials behind protective glass and enticing posters of pristine exotic landscapes and happy natives adorning the walls. After the queuing part, my business is done in ten seconds. “No! No visa. No, not possible. Only in your country. Next!” Sigh.

I’m three days early but I decide to try my luck picking up my passport at the Brazilian Consulate. I forget that morning is for dropping off documents and the afternoon for picking them up so I am shooed away. I buy some breakfast on the street and then find a cafe with wi-fi to while away the the intervening hours.

I am twenty minutes early when I return to the Consulate building and by the time 2PM ticks around a substantial queue is behind me. Finally given leave to enter, I face the stony eyed officials behind their glass, the enticing posters of crystalline white beaches and carnivale revellers on the wall a mocking counter point to the sterile scene.

An unsmiling man riffles through a file box. “When did you leave this here?” he barks. “Almost three weeks ago…” He tries again and finally manages to find my file. He extracts my passport without comment and hands it to me.

I retreat and flick anxiously through the document. Ah, relief. It’s there. The visa.

Now I just have to work out a route to Brazil that doesn’t involve travelling through Venezuela – and get out of Colombia within two weeks. The distance – and mountains – between the me and the Ecuadorean border notwithstanding I decide to stay in Bogota for the weekend to catch up with a friend and spend some time trying to get my bike a bit more road worthy.

On Sunday afternoon I get another taste of what a city without cars looks like:

Rabbits...

...browsing.

Tight rope walkers walking.

Dogs and people strolling.

Kids on bikes.

Skate boards.

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arms=dollars

Nobody wins.

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{ 2 } Comments

  1. mauricio mahe | April 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    hola
    son hermosas las fotografias
    chao
    suerte.

  2. WSmart | April 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Your bike needs service? Heh. Poing! Poiing! Poing-poing!

    Be real, be sober. Only you can prevent fascism.

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