The van… the lynch pin to our entire travel plans, without which we would not go as far as we planned and sure not get to Patagonia. We purchased a van from a couple in Peru and just needed to take possession of the car and acquire a temporary import permit as the car is titled is Wisconsin. We planned on meeting up with the seller at the border of Peru and Bolivia near lake Titicaca for the exchange. I went alone to meet up with Pepe who was traveling from Lima. Pepe was a bit late due to weather, so when he was getting close I took a taxi to the border and exited Bolivia into the border no man’s land. Once Pepe finally got there we transferred the remaining money to his wife. Pepe then had to exit Peru to relinquish his temporary import permit so that I could get my own temporary import permit in Bolivia. Things were going smoothly until Discovered there was a three hour line to get in and out of Peru although Pepe was able to get through the line faster that one would normally. He then cancelled the import permit and we switched the plates in no man’s land, yes we put Wisconsin plates on the new van!! Rocking America’s Dairy land in South American.
We were bumping up against the closing time to exit into Bolivia so Pepe helped me get the car through customs. Which was good because the guy was irritated that we were there so close to the border closing time and talking really fast in Spanish. Pepe had to sweet talk the guy into letting us through. By this time it had started raining and it was coming down in buckets. Finally got the import permit, only thing left was to enter Bolivia right?!
I got there just in time in enter except for the fact that apparently I can’t exit Bolivia and go back in without entering Peru… oops. So the van was in Bolivia but I had to go and wait in a two hour line to enter Peru, so I was forced to wait in the rain by this time the Bolivian was closed so I was forced to spend the night in Peru at a Hostel, the last bus at the immigration office was nice enough to give me a ride to the nearest town. I met up with very nice people that helped me along the was but navigated the border issued with only a a bit of discomfort. The next morning I got up early exited Peru and entered Bolivia picked up the van without further issues. We finally got our van! I am exhausted.