27-03-2005 Back in Montevideo

After 14 Argentinean lakes we headed back to Montevideo. Crossing the boarder only took us 10 minutes. No serious problems, just some ingredients for nice stories over a cold beer.

We had to go trough 4 “tramites”. The first 3 we passed in record time, the fourth officer however “discovered” that we were using a Brazilian pick-up to trail a Uruguayan trailer. “Of course” so he told us “this is not possible”. We were all caught be surprise and asked why. The only answer we got was ‘just because’. After insisting a bit more we discovered that this was forbidden by a statement in a document of Mercosur. Fortunately he forgave us this grave error and we could pass anyway :-).

The last step was sanitation. Because of the food and mouth disease it is forbidden to transport animals, dairy products etc. Outside in the shade we found a “slightly” overweight officer on a small chair in charge of checking persons and luggage for these items. Uninterested he asked us what we were transporting. Nestor, tired of driving the first 400 km and maybe still trying to find a logical reason for why a Uruguayan trailer can not be pulled by a Brazilian car, answered "fish". Immediately realizing his mistake he explains that they are fixed in formaldehyde. Too late. The officer dryly explains that you can not export fish: not dead, not alive not fixed. Next, with minimum effort he lifts his rubber stamp, pushes it on our pink paper and tells us to leave. Clearly the idea of opening the enormous mountain of luggage in the back of the pick-up, or worse: lowering the sloop from the trailer to see the boxes below did not appeal to him on a late Friday afternoon.

One hour before midnight we arrived in Montevideo.

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