I’ve got friends who think our road life is easy-breezy. They don’t realize how much hassle it can be living on the road. Moving from place to place all the time requires noodling a lot of aspects of life.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Ok… fine. I AM complaining. Hear me out on one example.
Remember a few weeks ago when we learned about a loop hole that would allow us to pause our vehicle permit while we have the baby (click here to read)? Upon arriving in Lima, we began the process.
First we needed to find long-term parking for the van. At 22 feet in length and a height which excludes underground lots, this is always a hard task. After a couple of days we finally found a private lot and paid for the first month. Four days later they called to inform us that we needed to move the van.
This was after they boxed us in with bar stools and tables. Fine. Pregnant women need exercise, and what better way than moving furniture…
We spent a day looking for a new parking lot and got rejected every place we went. We finally got lucky when the owner of this lot agreed to rent us a space for 5 months. It was more expensive and farther away than our first location, but this was our last option.
The next step in pausing the vehicle permit was to get the police to sign off on it. Now that we had a location for the van, we needed a letter from the Police stating that our van was indeed parked in one spot and would not be moving.
The police in Peru are nice enough, but they always want a little something-something for the effort. We NEVER pay bribes to cops when they pull us over for nothing. But if they help us out, like at the border or with a vehicle permit, I’ll usually kick them a little tip. It doesn’t hurt to grease the wheels and it can mean the difference between your encounter taking half a day, or an entire day.
Sure enough, they gave us the standard Peruvian demand for a bribe:
“How about something for lunch?”
When you hear that from a cop in Peru, it means, “give me a bribe and things will go your way.” We did, and within 24 hours and two trips to the police station we had our letter.
After that we had to prepare a bunch of other paper work and make a payment at the bank. One good thing about Peru is they always have a special line for pregnant women. This line is much shorter than the regular line, and there is usually at least one pregnant woman in it.
After all of that we had to venture out of the safety of our neighborhood of Miraflores and into the real city of Lima. We headed to Aduana (customs) in Callao. We had all of our paper work in order and were ready to put this to bed.
Now Aduana will mail our paper work to the border town of Tumbes where the border officials will decide whether or not to give us a temporary pause. If they do, I’m a happy person. If not, I’ll have to do two more border runs, each one taking 40 hours round trip. That would make me an unhappy person.
All that effort for one completed task. Total time invested, 16 hours. Just another day in paradise.