After our mind blowing experience at Salar de Uyuni (remember here), we decided it was time to push on into a new country. Bolivia had been good to us, but we were feeling more than ready for Argentina.
Our plan was to push all the way to the Argentina border in a day.
After a long day of driving we slept in the van in a dusty little town close to the border. This set us up perfectly for an early morning border crossing. We had heard crossing into Argentina was butter (REID!!!!!), so we were stoked. Had we only known!
We made it into Argentina, by the hair of our chinny chin chin!
Lately our border crossing karma has been shit. This time we hit 3 obstacles.
Issue #1 – We had pre-paid $160 for Soleil’s visa so she could go in on her US passport. Problem was, she went in and out of Bolivia on her Peruvian DNI card, (remember here). After cluster f#cking around with immigration, we finally aborted the visa and signed Sol through on her DNI.
Issue #2 – We went to Aduana to get our vehicle permit and were promptly told that we couldn’t enter the country without car insurance. We left the van and took a taxi into Argentina, but it was Sunday and everything was closed. Back at the border I gave the official an expired registration card. Knowing that he couldn’t read it, I tried to convince him that it was an international insurance card. He half bought the story. Finally I had Stevie and Sol stand in front of him while I explained that we couldn’t go back to spend the night in Bolivia because it was too dangerous for the baby. He looked across the dusty border and nodded sympathetically, and gave us the van permit. Sometimes it comes in handy that every country thinks Boo Radley lives next door.
Issue #3 – The only thing standing between us and Argentina was a van search. Per our standard operating procedure I had Kiki hidden under the bed. We didn’t want a repeat of the Chile episode, (remember here), so this time we made sure to have a recent health certificate. The only reason we were hiding her is because the certificate was older than 10 days, thanks to road blocks in Bolivia, (remember here), and also we hadn’t received the “official stamp” on the certificate. In other words, our paper work was suspect. They found poor Kiki quivering under the bed. Stevie presented the paper work and we both waited while the lady went inside to run it through her computer system. She returned 20 minutes later with a very serious look on her face. She informed us that the computer system was down and that we were to report Kiki to the officials in Salta ASAP. Umm, for sure… LATER!
And that’s how we scratched and clawed our way into our 15th country!
It’s hard to believe that almost 4 years ago Stevie and I set out on the road together.
Wow, the places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen. What a ride. What a gift. We’re so grateful every day. Grateful to be on the road. Grateful to be together. Grateful to be so in love. And most of all, grateful for our little baby girl, Soleil!
Soleil’s Global Citizen Diary
1) 10/9/2012 – Born in Lima, Peru (remember)
2) 12/14/2012 – 2 months old, entered USA (remember)
NA) 2/8/2013 – 4 months old, entered Chile, stamped in but rejected at the border (remember)
3) 4/14/13 – 6 months old, entered Bolivia (remember)
4) 6/2/13 – 8 months old, entered Argentina
Of course, with every new country comes a goodbye to the last country.
Nomad life is all about 2 things – HELLO. GOODBYE.
Bolivia was an amazing country, both for it’s spectacular scenery and it’s unique culture. Traveling through this country was exciting, frustrating, beautiful, educational, and a bit scary at times. Overall I rate it very high, simply for the fact that there aren’t many places like Bolivia left in this world. Visit while you can friends.
We made a short video of our time in Bolivia. Check it out below. I don’t think I’ve driven on more bad roads over the last 4 years!
So, we’ve entered into the very top of Argentina. When we set off on this adventure nearly 4 years ago, our goal was to make it to Ushuaia, which is the the very bottom tip of Argentina, the end of the world! We thought this adventure would take us one year.
Although we’re getting closer, it’s still a long, long ways away. Both in miles and in time. At the rate we’re going, I suspect it will be two more years before we get there. We’ve plotted our course for the next year and it looks like we’ll be hooking a left into Brazil for a while before continuing south. I need surf, and soon!
So far from what we’ve seen of Argentina, we’re completely blown away. The landscape is rich in colored rock and interestingly chiseled by ancient glacial formations. It reminds us a bit of the U.S. Southwest. Plus, the people are friendly. And, Stevie’s favorite, the wine is CHEAP!
I think we’re going to very much like this country.
We spent a few days in a cute, artsy little town named Tilcara. It was hard to get Stevie outta there.
Our plan for the next couple of months is to continually work our way south towards Santiago, Chile. We fly back to the States for the month of August. We’ve got a ways to go, but plenty of time to take it at a nice comfortable pace.