I just crossed the border into Colombia and have now officially been to 20 countries. Pretty cool.

The crossing was uneventful and ultimately not too stressful. Anyone who has crossed a border by bus or on foot knows that you are on absolutely maximum guard, as borders are famously sketchy and there are typically a lot of people trying to scam or at least solicit you. There were plenty of solicitors on the Ecuador-Colombia border but they weren’t too aggressive and I never felt unsafe or even uncomfortable.

I managed to get a new chip for my phone right there on the border, making it the fourth chip my little cheap phone has held (Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia). I also traded $25 for pesos with a dude sitting on a bench (a lot of the money exchange guys just sit or stand around with a massive wad of cash in hand – I’d be terrified) and bought a bus ticket to the city of Cali, which is about ten hours north of here. Night buses are supposed to be dangerous here but I can’t really avoid it since I’m so far south. Also, I’ve heard that about night buses throughout this trip and haven’t had a problem yet (knocking on wood), so I suppose I’m just taking yet another leap of faith. I also decided not to take out any more money until I get further north and feel more comfortable.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with my first Peace Corps Volunteer contacts and to seeing Colombia. Every person I know that has actually been to Colombia RAVES about it and everyone I know that hasn’t been says it’s dangerous. I’ll give you my conclusion in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, I’m gonna meet my contacts and get closer to Colombia. I’m looking forward to taking you with me.