Tag Archives: Cucuta

Colombia to Venezuela: A Popular Route

6 Mar

I met Waes on a bus going from the Colombian border to San Cristobal, a smallish Venezuelan town that acts as a gateway into the country. He moved here with his family quite a few years ago as he couldn’t pay for his mother’s medical bills in Colombia. In Venezuela even special treatment is much cheaper. He doesn’t agree with everything that Chavez has done – such as appropriation – but he feels he has undoubtedly done more good than bad. It’s for certain that he wouldn’t be able to dream about owning his own import/export business if he had had to pay for his mother’s treatment.

Leaving Colombia

5 Mar

My journey was so quickly planned that once I got to the bus station I couldn’t even remember the name of the place I was heading.

It’s name – once I remembered – was Cucuta, the most popular border stop between Colombia and Venezuela. Despite this particular recognition it’s also rarely used by travellers. An incident in which two elderly Germans were kidnapped by the terrorist group ELN in November last year has put the border crossing on a blacklist for many foreign offices. Quite why two elderly foreigners were walking around a hill in the middle of nowhere is still unknown [supposedly they will be set free in March 2013 so we can find out why then] but it has given the border a reputation.

The plan once I got to Cucuta was to take the colectivo across the border to San Cristobal in Venezuela and find out if there was any planes or buses to Caracas. Unfortunately trying to book any of these things online is a problem as it’s impossible to book a flight with less than 48 hours notice and the bus company websites are simple to say the least.