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Escape From Colombia

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Colombian GuerillasGetting into Colombia from Panama wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. For a massive country, that’s actually connected to Panama by land, you’d think it would be a piece of cake but as it turns out, you can’t travel over land across into Colombia.

Well, you can, but it would be across the dangerous Darien province, and there’s a very strong chance that you wouldn’t arrive at your destination, but more likely into the hands of the Guerrilla groups that occupy the area.

The only two ways of making the journey are by sea or by air. I thought about both options, and considered all the factors, but decided to fly for reasons that I shan’t go into (or for reasons that are simply not interesting).

Getting Out Of Colombia

Once in Colombia, there’s a million ways to get out. Well, perhaps not a million, but it’s directly connected by land to Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, and you can fly almost anywhere from the major airports.

I was heading to Los Angeles and spent (what seemed like) days deciding on the best way to do this at a reasonable price. Eventually, I went for a flight via Miami with the “low cost” airline Spirit. I say low cost, but not only was the price of the ticket a joke, I paid for about every extra that the marketeers at Spirit could think of. I paid for checking a bag in, buying a ticket online, printing a boarding pass, using a computer, and even for having ten fingers (ok, so the last two are a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you get the point).

The Interrogation

Anyway, the international airport at Medellin is a serious hike from the city centre. For those of you that don’t know, Medellin is in the middle of a large valley and you can’t take these massive planes in and out, so they built the airport in the top of the mountains.

On the morning of my flight, I pack my bag, and I double and triple lock it to prevent any unwanted packages to find their way into it without my knowledge. I get the the airport and I check in my main bag without any issues (I had read that there were additional bag checks at the check in stage) and swiftly move forward to the immigration area.

Full Body X-RayI hand my passport over to a rather attractive immigration officer and she looks at my entry stamp, counts the weeks on her fingers, and immediately calls over one of her male colleagues who gestures at me to follow him. Whilst I am not concerned, I’m concerned at the same time (if you know what I mean).

I am ushered into an interview room where the officer starts interrogating me in Spanish (ok, so he was just asking a few questions, but it felt much worse). As we talk in Spenglish, he fills out a rather long set of forms – maybe 5 pages worth – and asks me if I would give him permission for a full-body xray.

Having nothing to hide (and not wanting to argue with a Colombian law officer), I subsequently have the x-ray and am asked to sign my life away on the various paperwork. As I sign, the officer then takes a full set of fingerprints before letting me go on my way.

At no point did I think that I was going to spend the night in a Colombian prison, but I was thinking that the experience was not the most comfortable that I had ever had……

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!

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