Monday, June 1, 2009

Quito - A Wild One

Well Jordan left and had a decent flight home apparently, the plane out of Chiclayo was a little late so his connection in Lima was tight, but he made it home safe and sound and with a few storys im sure. We had planned to leave for the Ecuador boarder the next day but that night I fell quite ill so we had to stay in town for a few days till I was up for a bus ride.

We were fairly late leaving so we only made it as far as Mancura, wich is a good thing cause Tumbes (where we were trying to get to) is a terrible terrible place we learned yesterday. The worst part is that Riley left his pasport on the bus and when he went back someone had stole it along with a few hundred american dollars. He got a police report from the cops and they told him that he could probly get into Ecuador with that and get to the Canadian embasy in Quito. Otherwise he was going to have to take a bus to Lima, 1000 kms away and get a pasport there.

Mancura was a nice little town on the ocean that is packed full of tourists and tourist spots, but the beach rules and the water was warm so we spent a few days. The resturants all have tables set up right on the beach so you can just sit and eat awesome rice and seafood dishes for a few bucks! Riley was ancious to get going and try to get into Ecuador so we left yesterday to give it a shot.

Yesterday was the most stressfull days so far. The bus ride up to Tumbus was a little cramped witch im sure didnt help the whole situation. They cram so many people into a van down here it sucks. Luckly it was only about an hour and a half of not feeling my legs. When we got into Tumbes we were, as always, bombarded by people trying to give us a taxi. We thought the boarder was right in Tumbes so we jumped in a mototaxi (motorcycle turned into a trike). We drove for about a minuate then we stoped at a car and he told us that we were going to take the car to the boarder. As we threw our bags in the back a bunch of guys just came out of the wood work, wich happens down here some times cause people just love to stare. We got a bad feeling about it right away so we grabed our bags out of the car and told him that we weren´t getting in the car. He said alright and told us that we would take the moto.

Now looking back on it, its quite easy to see that we should have just walked away from the situation. But for some reason when your standing with your bag on your back, in the heat with a few people trying to talk to you in spanish its very hard to make decisions some times.

The guy said it was 2 soles each to get to the boarder, so we went for it. Between the three of us we were not worried about 1 guy on a motorcycle, but just as we were leaving another jumped on the back of the mototaxi. We seemed to think that he was on the bus from Mancura with us and just need a ride to the boarder and we thought he was on our side. He was a realy nice guy and chatted with us most of the way, till it was his turn to drive cause these mototaxis vibrate like crazy on the highway and no man could hang on for the 30 minuate ride it turned out to be.

We got to the Peru immigration and I tryed to pay the guy and get him to leave us alone. He wasnt going for it and told us that there was still 10 minuates to go to get to the boarder. He was in the immigration office before we were and at this point I was not happy. Riley had no passport, just a police report to try to talk his way through. We entered a room with an official and had a good conversation with the guy, he stamped something and sent us to another guy who stamped us out of Peru in our passports.

We were waiting outside for about 5 mins, then Sage decided to go inside and check on Riley. As she walked into the room she saw Riley and an official standing in the corner of the room and Riley, looking very pissed off was handing over a bunch of money. Sage was quickly led out of the room and told to wait outside. About a minuate after she came out so did Riley, looking still very pissed off. Rileys luck has not been traveling with him and had just been robbed by a cop!! There goes another hundred american, poor guy. He did get a stamp out of Peru and was told he could get into Ecuador.

Anyway, now we were infront of the immigration office wich is still apparently a few miles from the boarder. So we loaded back into our mototaxi and headed for the boarder. At this point we were three pissed off travelers. The mototaxi then proceded to take us to some sort of truck storage lot and told us that the boarder was right arround the corner. Now we were very unhappy and a little scared as a bunch of men came over. We went to pay him our 2 soles each and 2 quickly turned to 12. After a little arguing with these guys we decided to cut our losses, pay the guy and get the hell out of there. We threw him the money, told him what we thought of him and bailed, quickly. The next corner was lined with cops and we had a little bit of relief.

This boarder crossing was "stupid". Theres 2 towns, one on the peruvian side and one on the Ecuadorian side and the immigration offices are hidden in the towns for you to find. The Ecuadorian immigration office is 5 kms out of town....great. So we grabed a taxi and went to see what we could do. Sage and I got through no problems, but of course they weren´t giving Riley any kind of stamp on anything, but hell we were already in Ecuador so we jumped on a bus to Quito where there is an embasy so he could get some sort of passport.

We were a little nervous taking a bus with an illegal immagrent for 12 hours, but we realy didnt see any other practical option. As luck would have it, about 15 minuates after we left we were stoped at the exact immigration office that we had just been at........Luck was on our side an no one came onto the bus and we left in about 10 mins, then to another checkpoint, again 10 mins of shaking in our boots, and agin more luck. Finaly at the third checkpoint "everyone off the bus with your passport".......Shit. Riley was last man through the gate and the guard was great and understood our situation and let him go!!! Best news all day. This new lefted our spirits a little and we had a nice bus ride to Quito.

We got an awesome hostel in Quito in a big old house with a nice kitchen, patio, laundry area and everything we could ever need. Perfect for our situation.

So on the whole yesterday was a big learning experiance. We had heard that that boarder crossing was the worst on the continent and boy was it ever. But we made it thru and Riley is at the embasy as we speak arranging to get a new passport. It takes only 15 days to get a passport here. Wish it was that easy in Canada.

Anywho, we are relaxing now and heading to the store to get some ingrediants to cook up some food for the first time since Cuzco!!! I think that they even have beans here.
Adios for now.

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