Travel

COLOMBIA, SUDDENLY THE WONDER

Today we leave Ecuador, after a early wake up, a city bus, another city bus, a national bus and a taxi. The Border is a bridge, a custom on each side. We have never seen such a mess at a border. A part from the food and whatever sellers, money changers, taxi drivers, etc.. there are very long queues to get to other queues to finally get to passport control.
We will spend there more than one and half hour but only because we can use the “every nationality but Venezuela” queue. Migrants from Venezuela, waiting to pass the border, are thousands, whole families and many children. The few remaining space is occupied by UNCHR, UNICEF and Red Cross tents. They would probably spend the rest of the day queuing or maybe even the night. They are covered in blankets and pillows. They are traveling southward, to Peru and further, although nobody wants them.
A bit moved, we continue to Ipiales, the first town after the border and we arrange for our night bus to Popayan. Then, to kill time we decide to visit one of “the wonders of Colombia”, Las Lajas sanctuary. It’s a huge church built exactly on the canyon of the river Guáitara. Literarily over it, perfectly fit among the rocks. It’s dedicated to the Virgin whose image is painted on the rock, (lajas in Spanish). It attracts humans and non humans. The legend says it was discovered by a native, hiding on the rocks with her deaf-mute daughter during a storm. Suddenly the kid spoke “the Virgin is calling me”.
The place is undoubtedly mystic, with the river passing under, the wild rocks full of ex voto, a rainfall, the green and lush of the jungle. What could be the perfect match? Disco lights of course!

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