Thursday, November 6, 2008

Border Crossing Chaos...

2 days ago I woke up early in the morning in Arica, Chile and began my journey into Tacna, Peru. It is one of the structured border crossings in and out of the country and I had done it in reverse already on my way out of Peru a couple of months ago. Needless to day the situation has change a little since then.

The crossing was easy enough

Then things got a little rocky... literally. Hundreds of people had relocated thousands of rocks into the street to keep cars from entering and also threw rocks at the cars that might have tried to go around.

My taxi drived turned through the median and drove back a little bit before dropping us off miles outside of town. I then had to walk through the town of protesters hoping that they didn't turn on me.

I walked for over 2 hours and found out that the bus station was closed indefinitely and that I would be stuck in Tacna if I couldn't find a flight out.

They also had large demonstrations in the main square.

(I apologize for the lack of quality pics, but I didn't want to get stoned for taking pictures. You never know what could set somebody off)

Luckily for me I had a friend. One of the people in my taxi extended his hospitality to me and accompanied me to the bus station. When it was found to be closed he then took me into his home and helped me find a way out and made sure I was well fed. Needless to say I hope to have found a friend for life.

This is my friend Christian and his family. Without them I am certain that Tacna could have become the worst part of my trip, but now I consider to be one of my best days.

His hospitality extended far and beyond any common courtesy. It is something that I have found abundantly during my time in Peru and that is why I consider Peru as one of my favorite places in the world.

I do think I started a guitar player on her way while I was there, and afterwards I managed to catch a cab that snuck me to the airport and I flew into Lima. No more buses for this guy.

Please excuse my horrible Spanish

Para Christian y la familia,

Gracias por la hospitalidad. Usted es verdad un gran amigo. Recordaré siempre su ayuda y esperanza de permanecer en tacto.

Su amigo,

jonny walker