Border crossings are the worst. Border crossings when the warnings are not to cross overnight by bus because you might get gassed and robbed are especially the worst. Border crossings when your only other alternative is to go during the day by bus, and spend the night in the most dangerous city in Ecuador, Guayaquil, are even worse. Yes. Worse than the worst. It would be an understatement to say that Andrew and I were not looking forward to the Peru Ecuador bus ride, border crossing, nor the night in Guayaquil. And then, when we were chastised by the Peruvian passport control agent for calling him out on over-charging us for our visa over stay… well it just got… you guessed it… worse.
We weren’t planning on overstaying our visa in Peru, but then we decided to study Spanish for a week in Cusco and found out we only had to pay a dollar for each day we overstayed. Not a big deal. We only stayed five days over, so we would only have to pay $5.00 each. But when we arrived at the Peru Ecuador border crossing at Huaquillas, the agent decided we had to pay $6.00 instead. We pulled up our calendars, counted off the days, thinking it was a simple mistake and he would agree to charge us the correct amount. He didn’t agree, and when I asked why he was charging us more, he got angry.
Not only did he get angry, but he told us to go back to the bank (20 kilometers back in Peru) in town to pay the amount we wanted to pay, instead of “trusting” him and paying more. Not possible, I don’t think our bus driver, nor the other passengers would have indulged us in saving two dollars. However, had we had our own car, you better believe I would have gone back into town to pay the lesser fine, simply out of spite. He tried to pull the same scam on another person, except this person must have had his own car. He walked out of line and headed towards his car instead of forking over the extra money (for the agent’s pocket) and crossing into Ecuador.
We arrived in Guayaquil right as it was getting dark, and anxiously hoped for a late bus to Olón. Not possible. Instead, we headed to the food court where we were able to hop on an open wifi signal and book a room for the night. We ate, and then busted a move to a taxi that dropped us off at our hotel where we stayed put. We didn’t want to chance walking around in the dark, and someone coming up and putting us in a choke hold until we passed out so they could rob us before we came to. I wish I was joking. This warning actually made me nostalgic for India, where one warning was “Watch out for someone throwing poop on your shoes, so they can clean them for a fee!”