In no particular rush we headed to the Bolivian border about an hour from Puno.
The last shots of the lake on the Peru side.
Mirko found some soft sand setting up for a picture. Claudia making the big push to get us out of Peru.
THE BORDER CROSSING
The rules have recently changed for crossing into Bolivia. There is now a visa and its supposed to be $130 for Americans at the border. What I didn’t know or read was that there is an application and you need passport photos. Luckily I had some photos done in Cusco just because I was right next to a place. Not so lucky that I needed a completed application and that I didn’t have and the custom guy wouldn’t give me. Oh and it was $165 for my visa not one $130. $130 is for a 5 year and 165 for a ten year.
Me: Ok I only want a 5 year.
Custom guy: We don’t do that here.
Ok guess Im getting the ten. Ironically I had 3 friends cross the same border the day before and they got charged the old amount of $55 each. So here I am getting overcharged and with no application. The guy at customs was a total jerk and his advice to me was to ride back to the last town in Peru and print out application and bring it back. I politely say but I am already stamped out of Peru and this is a piece of paper you require for Bolivia and has nothing to do with Peru. He then says not his problem.
I run into a girl doing her paperwork that agrees the is an ass and then she tells me that he gave her the form. So plan B: buy the free form off said ass instead of spending 2-3 hours finding a place to print documents. 5 bolivianos later (about 60 cents) I have the one page document and complete. Only takes one gguy to turn the whole process into a battle.
I actually don’t thing he pocketed any of the $165 because even the sticker on my passport said $165. Its that the changes are new and no one cares or knows what the hell is going on. On a positive note the guy at the aduana for the moto was awesome supper nice fast and played some itunes while we did paperwork. Sucky people really suck. Nice people are awesome!
My crossing took some extra time and we knew La Paz was to big of a push. After my big hit to the wallet and fiasco we were on our way to Copacabana.. What a pleasant surprise. Claudia Mirko and I kept talking about how Puno waterfront was so sad. No cool restaurant, hotel or bar on the water to overlook the lake and kind of dirty. Well my friends, Copacabana gets what the lake life is all about. Just a beautiful, cool little town. We decided after a late lunch that is would be a two night town to enjoy it a bit.
Pano of the view from the top
Peru is over there
We all had a nice relaxing time in Copacabana. I could have spent a week there and gone to explore the islands but I had to make a choice. Stay or ride Southern Bolivia with team Germany. It was really an easy choice. The parts of southern Bolivia we were planning to ride are very remote and difficult riding, I would prefer to do it with company over being solo.
All of us were on a schedule now too! A schedule because we had flights booked to see family. Me on June 24 to Maine, Claudia and Mirko on the 27th to Ecuador where family was meeting them. So that gave us about two weeks from La Paz to do a loop to the Salar, stone tree, lagunas verde and Colorada. That’s the plan. Reality was a big diversion from the plan!
HAPPY 4th of JULY to the American readers!! I am currently in Maine hanging out with family and absolutely loving my vacation from the adventure.
I have spent a lot of time ordering parts and getting pics sorted. I will be back to the adventure July 21. In the meantime this is a good opportunity to get caught up on the blog!! So far Maine has been good living!