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Nov 19, 2008 - Lima to Chiclayo, Peru
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Our poor truck! We feel it's pain! The truck that hit us 
What can we say about the route North out of Lima and on into Chiclayo, Peru except highway robbery!!! During our drive, we were stopped at least 7 times by the police; and that's when we started counting. We were generally stopped because we had Paraguayan license plates. But after the initial stop and checking that our passports are US, we got all kinds of reactions:

1 - My daughter is trying to get into the United States and YOUR government is stopping her! (Now what can we do about that?)

2 - I have to stand out on this hot road all day without anything to drink. Do you have a cola or somthing? We gave him our big bottle of water, and he drinks it up as we leave.

3 - We were in a school zone traveling at about 60 km/hr, but the speed limit was 35 km/hr. We hadn't even seen the speed limit sign. We "negotiated" a fine down to 150 soles (that's $50) if we would pay on the spot. Payment was made below the window level. The police man said he wouldn't say anything to anybody in order to "protect" our record with the police department if we wouldn't say anything to anybody!

4 - We had a discussion of how much fuel our truck took and the general cost of fuel. The policeman said his boss didn't give them enough money for fuel - could we make a contribution? We gave him about $2.00.

5 - We have tinted windows. We've had tinted windows a long time, and the customs people for Peru allowed us to enter the country with tinted windows. This officer apparently thought we needed "special permission" to have tinted windows. This "special permission" cost us 120 soles ($38) - negotiated down from $120.

The list goes on, but these are just a few of the more unusual stops. You might ask, why did we pay? Well, when a policeman approaches your car in a foreign country, we tend to cooperate and try to not make waves. Also - he is holding your passport and vehicle registration and won't return them until an "agreement" is reached.

To top off our day, we had a wreck!! Just as we entered Chiclayo, someone ran into the side of our truck. You'll see from the photos, it wasn't much damage, just lots of aggrevation. Ed argued with the man for about 20 minutes and only ended up with 30 soles (about $10) to pay for the damage. The man admitted he was wrong, saying that he thought we would move out of the way before he got there!

Writing about traffic we are reminded of the strange traffic signs we pass - "suggested speed limit" (officer, I thought it was a suggestion, not a law), "don't leave rocks on the road" (should we stop and throw some on the road so we can remove them?), "if you have doubt, don't pass" (gee, we thought passing a semi-truck on the curve would be okay).

We think something is lost in the translation!

We are still seeing the mototaxis. Check out the pig in the photos - yes, he's alive for this Batman ride.


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