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Peruvian border, drunk indians and gigantic Andes
Last updated: 10. June 2010 - 11015 Clicks - Enable Print View
Huaraz, Peru, 2nd October 2009, 15 degree Celsius 

The 4x4 Mitsubishi of Karolin and Kay"Pablo, have we already written down the number of the vehicle?" asked the officer at the border for the third time. "Yes Señor, we noted it already", answered Pablo with a lot of patience to all the repeating questions of his elderly colleague. We already knew that the officer at the border gave a lot of attention to details, but it was a surprise to us that he also compared the original document with it's copy he had just made... Finally, after an hour, he put himself the sticker at the windscreen that allowed us to bring the car into Peru. But despite his attention to details, he forgot an important stamp on it. So he went back to the office, took the stamp and corrected his mistake directly on the windscreen. What he did not consider when putting the sticker on the window was the windscreen wiper that made the sticker by 1/3 smaller during the first rain. The policia national was interesting as well: The officer sat in the shirt of his favourite football team at the desk and presented us proudly his dead snake in a glass on the table. All the official formalities were not at all important to him. Two years ago this border crossing "La Balsa" in the south of Ecuador must have been even more interesting. At that time, they just finished the bridge for cars - and only 10 foreign cars crossed this border in that year. Now it's one foreign car a week... With some more stories to tell we continued our journey in the car of the German couple, Kay and Karolin that travel in their 4x4 Mitsubishi through South America and asked us if we want a ride over the border. To our surprise were the streets on the Peruvian side of the border even worse than in Ecuador. But on this side it was not construction work that made us stop. No, it was the civil force that asked, with the gun hanging on their shoulder, for a "donation" to support their work.

4x4 in the AndesDriving trough the Andes we decided to visit Gocta, the third highest waterfall in the world. In Cocachimba, the village next to it with 20 houses, we were greeted by a tourist guide (!). She recommended us the only place to stay in Cocachimba, the house of a local family that has 2 spare rooms for guests. We could feel that there are almost no foreign tourists visiting the waterfall, people were really friendly and interested so that we could experience a bit of "real Peru". The food was served in the living room of the family; at the same time the broken TV was fixed with a screwdriver that was made hot in the fire to solder the broken part of the TV. Unfortunately, the waterfall did not have too much water, but still the height of 700 meters is impressive. We continued in the direction of the ruins Kuelap and were soon stopped once more by a police officer. But this time he did not only want to talk a bit, he wanted to see all the different documents. He did not like the paper of the insurance company (he wanted some money for an after work beer) and showed this with all his pride of a police officer. Finally, the insurance card of Argentina (not valid in Peru) stopped him from trying to get money from us and showed us how random the complaints can be. The impressive ruins of Kuelap are situated on a mountain and the walls around the city are 15 meters high. Although, even more impressive are the Andes...

Impressive AndesThe Andes are with a length of 7000km the longest mountain range over sea level. We experienced the average height of 4000m in the Mitsubishi: First we crossed passes higher than 4000m, drove down to 900m and up again to 4000m. This lengthened the journey in the car and it was not always easy to lie in the back of the car (as we did not have any seats). But usually there was something going on that distracted us from the uncomfortable position: There was a table soccer game on the main road, but the peruvians forgot to mark a detour. In another village there was a big party on the main square going on, unfortunately the only road did go trough that main plaza. It was one of the few situations we had the feeling not to be welcome. At 3pm the whole village was drunk and some men, dressed like Indians, did not want to let us drive trough and forced us to turn and drive away from the square. We waited a bit on the side and suddenly appeared a good soul that offered us his help. He convinced the drunken Peruvians to let the Gringos trough and we could continue our ride without mayor damage on the car. Our trip into remote areas of Peru ended after 2 weeks in Huaraz, a city in the cordillera blanca. This region contains over 50 white mountains higher than 5700m! In a lodge on 3700m we relaxed from the journey and enjoyed the amazing view...

See ya, we've gone away.
Corina & Andri
Pictures to this article:
One 4x4 Mitsubishi, 2 Germans, we 2 Swiss and the gigantic Andes with peruvians natives - 2 1/2 weeks long... - View pictures
Comments about this article: 3 comments so far | Post a comment
27. December 2009 | Kay said...
Eigentlich macht der Bericht schon wieder Lust auf reisen. Das nächste Mal, nehmen wir einen Wagen mit Rückbank und wir laden euch natürlich wieder ein :)
19. December 2009 | Richi M said...
hola gringos :-) die bilder und erlebnisbricht sind aifach elefantöööös!! passed wiiiterhn ufenand uf und gnüssets liebi grüess richi
7. December 2009 | seppli said...
hey ihr zwei schwiizer... euiri bildli xehnd fantastisch us!! gnüsseds wiiterhin, sind brav zuenänand und bliibed xund... grüess seppli

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