I'd been to the bus station the previous day to buy my ticket. The guy had explicitly told me that I was on the 6.30pm with Los Llanos bus company. So the bus turned up, I checked my luggage on then we started to get on board. Then the guy pointed out my ticket said 8.30. Well it could have been an 8 rather than a 6, it wasn't entirely clear. I said there wasn't an 8.30 and he told me to go to the office.
So off I ran, as my luggage was already onboard and a couple of people had a brief discussion and they handed me another ticket, which was computer printed with my name (spelled wrong) on it. Apparently I was on the 7.45 pm with Occidente, a completely different company. Err, how?
So I went back to get my luggage. They weren't very happy but I did tell them it wasn't my fault, it was the idiot in the office. I gave him back the baggage tag, but I think he wanted my old ticket so he could cross it off, but I didn't have it anymore. There then followed a brief tug of war over my bag which there was only ever going to be one winner of and I ran off tell him I'd be back in a minute.
So I hid around the corner and eventually got on the Occidente bus which actually left at 9.25pm. We went through at least 3 military checkpoints on the way down. I'd heard stories of them relieving tourists of their dollars but they just checked my passport a couple of times and left me alone. I doubt they would have found my dollars given they were under the insole of my right boot.
So here I am in Santa Elena. The Roraima trek starts tomorrow. It's raining.