2016-02-04 Pasto – Quito

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I woke up this morning because I was feeling a bit cold. Right away the security came and asked me to sit straight and then she asked me for my travel destination. I answered that I would be going to Ipiales, to the border and she replied in a pretty unfriendly manner “buses are already going to Ipiales”. I may be a homeless Gringo backpacker but I had to speak up, loud enough for all the passengers in the waiting area to hear, “this is a free country”, “this is a public bus terminal”, “I am a free person” and “I will make my own free decision when I want to take a bus to the border”. She turned around and left.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


I still had enough money, enough Pesos and so I inquired about the ticket price for the bus to Ipiales. 8.000 Pesos was a good price for almost 100 kilometers, so I bought the ticket. I had 10 minutes before the bus would leave. I went to the bathroom and left the bus terminal towards the parking area of the busses to take some pictures. Suddenly a van turned up right in front of me, the driver got out and told me that he had been looking for me, the last passenger, the homeless Gringo. He was about to leave without me but luckily I was taking pictures right at the exit, right in front of him.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


We arrived in Ipiales, turned right at the vegetable, fruit and meat market and entered the parking area of the bus terminal. I still had plenty of time and now that I had seen the activity, the life and the look of the folkloric dressed indigenous at the market I wanted to know a bit about the vegetable and the fruits of the region, the eating habits and maybe spend the last Pesos on some tasty looking exotic food or drink.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


The market was of a different kind, was from a different culture, had different products, different tastes and different smells and I was really fascinated by the different ethnic of the merchants and visitors.


I felt I still had more time and drove to the center, had a quick look at the main square, the street market and the ice cream stand. Now it was time, back to the bus terminal and from here a taxi van to the border.


The normal border procedure, stand in line and get the stamp out of Colombia, walk across the invisible thin line, across the border, across the bridge, stand in line and get the stamp in of Ecuador. I had exactly the Colombian Pesos left for the taxi van from the border to the bus terminal of Tulcan.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


First I needed money, I needed Dollars. The bus terminal was of a small city and had only 1 cash machine and it did not accept my credit card. I had no Dollars to pay for transport and so I had to walk back to the center to find a bank or a cash machine. I was angry but I was used to walking with my 15 kilogram backpack, even in the midday heat. The next cash machine did not work either but the bank around the corner, 50 Ecuadorian Dollars. I was curious to see the bank notes and looked immediately for the famous faces on the front of the bills; George Washington and Andrew Jackson. They were American and I realized the there is no Ecuadorian Dollar, they used the American currency, they used the US Dollar, $$$.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.



It was raining and the night would be very cold because of the elevation of the city, I had fresh Dollars and the price for the bus from Tulcan to Quito was with 7 US Dollars reasonable, I would buy a sleeping place plus transport to the next destination. I had enough arguments to not stay in Tulcan for tonight, enough arguments to go straight to Quito.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


I would have time to relax a bit in the capital of Ecuador, have time to work and time to see the historical part of the city, plan my next steps, my next destinations. I was ready, got on the bus, sat down and enjoyed the comfort. We arrived in Quito and disappointment; it was cold and raining, an open bus terminal with only a 20 square meter covered waiting area, my hotel for the night.

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.


For a small understanding of the days travel, I have included a Google Earth map. The red pins mark the locations I have stopped and taken pictures. At the bottom of the page you will find a link for all the pictures I have taken. The link will open in a Google+ Album.

Please click on map to enlarge!!!

2016-02-04 Pasto - Quito

See map and distances / Siehe Karte und Entfernungen / Ver mapa e distâncias / Ver mapa y distancias

0 km      Pasto

85 km    Ipiales

170 km  Otavalo

255 km  Quito

Please click on “View Album” to see pictures in a Google+ Album.

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