Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tabatinga Brazil to Bogota Colombia

So I’ve been stuck in Tabatinga Brazil for some days now. This place is walking distance to Leticia Colombia, where I have flight in 3 days from.

Throughout this journey I’ve had the opportunity to understand and figure out the inner workings of laws, enforcement and border crossing on a profound level. In times of survival I have also had to exploit the loop holes in the system around international border crossings, and Tabatinga/Leticia was no exception. 

I wanted to stay in Colombia but that required being stamped out of Brazil and waiting 3 days until I got to the Bogota airport to get my entry stamp to Colombia as I was told that Leticia had no immigration office. (Later I found out that at the airport there in fact was an immigration office, not sure if they will stamp you in if you don’t have a flight that day though for those fellow travelers out there)

Walking across the Brazil/Colombia border everyday with no passport was fun. Illegal immigration eat your heart out! This marks just one of countless countries I’ve entered “illegally” throughout the journey. Nothing special.

It was cheaper for me to stay in Brazil than in Colombia. It was no Motel 6, but I did make some friends with the local bed bugs, giant mosquitoes and spiders of the night all without living the comfort of my own bed.

I even stayed at the Che Bar!

I realized now that I was indeed finally resembling Che Guevara, my shaver broke so my beard is pretty massive, my motorcycle is no longer with me and I now have little to no money.

I was also surprised to see a few people from Hati there that were still stranded after that terrible earth quake hit that their country a few months back.

Not much happened the three days I was in Tabatinga, the most exciting thing was probably seeing this Simpson’s theme bar.

Entirely Simpson’s theme. Copyright infringement anyone? Nobody cares, and I doubt the Fox Corporation will want to take down a lonely bar in the middle of the Amazonas.

Running low on money, I’ve been sticking with eating my awesomely cheap and nutritious baby food.

I’ve added bananas to it, which I get at the local market for a dollar for over 15 bananas, gotta to love Brazil!

Although they try to screw you royally with tourism with high prices, they make up for it in cheap fruit, but beware you must bargain for your fruit as well.

Finally after a few boring days of doing nothing but random thinking and the occasional pinball game on my broken screen laptop, I was headed out on a flight to Bogota Colombia from Leticia.

This marked the first time I rode on the back of a moto-taxi. It wasn’t the nicest of feelings for me, but a ride to the police station in Tabatinga to get my exit stamp out of Brazil and then to the airport in Colombia cost me less than $3 US dollars.

Plus carrying a huge backpack and wearing my “international” exotic/funky/uncommon looking helmet got lots of attention which made the moto-taxi driver feel pretty cool.

I tried waiting for the guy I met on the boat from Manaus to Tabatinga that was a motto-taxi driver that said he would pick me up and take me, but he never showed up, I was quite sad.

I made it to the airport in once piece luckily along with the dozens of other tourists. They were all carrying souvenirs to take back home, all I could carry was my bags and bracelets, so much for bringing back something for the family!

I’ll be back in Bogota in a few hours, the origin of my travels in South America, a bittersweet reunion! Until then, adios!

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