March 18, 2006 GMT
Between the Rivers

Just as everyone has ripio stories and "how long I had to wait in some god-forsaken place for parts to get through Customs" stories, there are also "corrupt barsteward cops in Entre Rios province" stories.

Here's another.

I crossed the border from Uruguay back into Argentina at the Salto/Concordia causeway. For once there is actually a combined border complex on the Argentinian side, minimising the amount of runing around between offices you have to do.

Having had my passport duly stamped out of Uruguay and into Argentina, and surrendered my temporary import papers for the bike, I went to the Customs guy. All he did was give me a small scrap of paper with a stamp on it. Now, this being the umpteenth time I've entered Argentina I know there's more to it than that, but he insisted not. I went back outside to where most of the border officials were clustered around the bike (it was a slow day), and intimated to another Customs guy that I needed the big bit of paper, and he agreed. So we went back inside and I decoded my V5 for him to enter the appropriate details. As usual I checked he'd written them down correctly (no point taking chances, especially as I had 60 miles of Entre Rios to ride before escaping into the next province).

Off I went rejoicing, stopped for coffee and fuel, kept to speed limit (which meant I was more or less the slowest vehicle around), enjoying the ride.

About a mile before the provincial border there was a police checkpoint. I stopped, and the policeman demanded I dismount and produce my papers. He homed in straight away on the bottom left-hand corner of the bike document, where date of entry is written, almost as though he knew it would be wrong. And, of course, it was; it was today's date, not yesterday's as it should have been.

Big problem.

So we go inside, upon which I decided to reduce my grasp of Spanish by at least two-thirds. That way I understood much more than they thought but could feign loads of ignorance.

I suggested they ring the border. After all, it was only an hour and a half before and they were sure to remember me. The cop phoned (or pretended to phone) the border. No, they didn't remember me (hardly credible in the circs). So, the fine is U$150, including the charge for changing the date on the paperwork. No, I don't get a receipt - Customs will send a receipt and a refund to my home address within 30 days (oh really). No, they won't stamp and/or initial the alteration on the paperwork to show it's official.

Thank heavens I'd pulled some dollars from a magic hole a couple of days before, otherwise I'd have been in even deeper doo-doo. I imagine the two cops get $50 each and the Customs man gets the other $50.

The Argentinian government publishes a form, in both Spanish and English, on its website for the reporting of just such an incident. They are trying very hard to combat corruption, as are all S.American countries. So this form will be completed and returned.

On the bright side, once I'd crossed into the next province the police stops were back to normal - Where are you going, Where are you from, Jolly good, Off you go.

Anyway, I'm in Corrientes, which is a very historic city and the setting for Graham Greene's 'The Honorary Consul'. It's hot and very humid; and last night there was the most severe storm with torrential rain, and the tornado only just missed the town.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at March 18, 2006 08:04 PM GMT
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!



Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!