After the 7-hour journey from Cartagena, Colombia we made it to Macaio (the border with Venezuela).  We checked out of Colombia, then got our stamp for entry to Venezuela from immigration. That was the easy part.  We actually thought, we were going to make it to the tour for 8am, even though it was another 7-hour journey to Merida. However, even though the border is open 24 hours, the customs office to get Dougal checked-in to Venezuela was only open from 9am - 5pm (how does this not surprise us?!). The only way to get through the border that night was to bribe the guards.  This wasn't a brilliant option, as we needed the document to show other guards/police officers, so we didn't have to bribe them as well. As the guards were discussing what figure they'd accept, it was now 10pm, so we rang up the guide that was running our tour tomorrow, to tell him our situation. He advised us that even if we did pay them off, the road from Macaio to Maracaibo was notoriously dangerous at night and murders are common ie every night in fact. We decided to move the tour to start on Sunday, sleep the night in no-mans land (stuck between Colombia and Venezuela), not pay the bribe and not get murdered.  What are we getting ourselves into…worried much.

 

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