Friday, June 29, 2007

Gratis (Free)

Last weekend I was off to Arica, Chile to pick up my VISA stamp in my passport.

After 6 hours in a large touring bus I arrived in the frontier town of Tacna, Peru. Crossing the border was accomplished by a special taxi service that takes 5 people at a time in a 1978 Ford Crown Victoria. Incidental, this was the very first time I have ever seen a Crown Vic with with a standard transmission and 4 cylinder engine. I was half expecting to pile into the trunk and made a mad rush for the border in the style of many border crossing into the USA... however I was relieved to find out that the large back seat was for sitting on and not hiding under.

After getting dropped off at the Peruvian Consulate in Chile, a 2 hour wait produced a VISA stamp in my passport. As much trouble as it was to get the VISA, I was amazed to find out that it was "GRATIS" or free...

The same day it was back across the border to Peru and 6 more hours on a bus back to Arequipa. I arrived home tired but also glad that one more piece of my paperwork was completed.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Wow, we're quite surprised at the desert-like conditions of southern Peru. It almost looks like a wasteland. We remember our time in Peru a couple of years ago and were amazed at the different climactic and geographic zones.
Do you think that the 4 cyl. engine and standard transmission were added later after the original equipment wore out?