Border Time

Day 2 in Sapzurro, and I’m a little surprised to find that our stop at the military post  yesterday did not end with an entrance stamp to Colombia. We are all also a little surprised that we will have to stay another night here, at our own expense. So once everyone was up, we all had to hop in a water taxi and head to the official border checkpoint in Capurgana.

There was a line of 13 of us, so we stayed across the street in the shade. It was Sunday, and according to Adam the border official thought that fact entitled him to a $5 tip from each of us. We sort of laughed at this, and a minute later when 2 police officers passed us, Jason asked if there was any fee to get into Colombia. The police said no, and then walked into the border official’s office. We’re not sure exactly what was said, but it was obvious the border official was not happy. We later found out that some other travelers ahead of us had brought in the police that morning as well and this particular official may have been feeling the heat to clean up his act.

Before we were stamped in, the police were later called back over by the official in an attempt for him to cover his ass and find out who narked on him. He changed his story to say that he knew a BOAT we could take us back to Sapzurro for $5 each. Oh yes, a misunderstanding. We all agreed that it was a big misunderstanding a we think we’re cleared to get stamped in.

He asked me how long we’d be in Colombia. 2 months (we always guess high, in case of problems). He stamped Bode in for 60 days, me in for 30, and gave me back Jason’s without a stamp.

Everyone else in our group was stamped in without paying a dime. The guy was obviously mad because if we hadn’t said something he could have made a lot of money.

Jason tried to apologize for the ‘misunderstanding’ . I tried to apologize, but to no avail. The official (who was all of 21) told us we “had no respect for his authority.”  Adam decided the best approach would be for us to leave the building and let him handle it.

After about 45 minutes of negotiations, Adam had managed to completely turn the guy. Jason was turned into the common enemy of everyone and the border official stamped all of us in for 60 days – as a favor to Adam.

We hung out a while longer in Capurgana, as it is a nicer and a little more touristy (meaning it has a few restaurants and shops) than Sapzurro.

We returned to the hostal where we were camping and take full advantage of their DVD player to introduce Bode to SNL’s Best of Mike Meyers, truly a classic. With so many friends around laughing, he eagerly joined them, though I don’t think he got most of it.

After Bode and Jason faded, the night continued for the rest of us with a campfire and more of Tyler’s outrageous stories. Good times til our 5:30am wake-up call.

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