Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Peru-Brazil 2013 – Day 15 – Leticia y Tabatinga

Not much to report. Today we meant to take it easy, doing immigration formalities, but we ended walking like dogs. To cross from Leticia, Colombia to Tabatinga, Brazil is a simple matter of crossing a street. There are no checks on either side of the border, so we just walked up the Avenida de la Amizade. We found, to our great interest, that everybody here seems to have a light motorcycle, and that motorcycles provide de taxi service. You simply flag down one of the men wearing a yellow and green vest, mount behind them, and off you go to your destination.

Getting money was not easy. Not all ATM machines give money, and its was not until the third attempt that by trial and error we found one machine that was willing to disgorge 1,000 reais into our waiting hands. There are two reais in a dollar, so all we need to do is divide by two to figure how much we are spending. In contrast, there are 2,000 Colombian pesos to the dollar, so I was quite in shock when I paid 300,000 pesos for a two-night stay at the hotel (US$75 per night, which is pretty pricey given that the bed is hard like a sheet of plywood!).

After a long hoof along the Avenida de la Amizade we got to the Federal Police Post, where we were going to request official entry into Brazil. The agent was very nice, but he told us that we first had to check out of Peru before he can give us entry to Brazil, so with all our honors we had to go to the port, take a boat across the river to Santa Rosa, and go through the formality of leaving Peru. We took the opportunity to have lunch, although Annie barely touched the mound of ceviche we were served.

Back in Tabatinga we got our Brazil stamp and we came back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest and swim in the pool. Later in the afternoon we went out to dinner, but once again Annie decided to go in a hunger strike. She has this trick where she scratches the meat with her fork, pulling out little tendrils of meat (a beef stew this time), and after that declares herself satisfied. I wish I could use this technique to lose weight! Tonight I will have to take her out to pizza, to see if a familiar food makes a difference.

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