11-01-2006 Hearty welcome to Uruguay

On Wednesday 11th of January around 8 o 'clock in the morning we crossed the Brazilian boarder. I was a little bit nervous because of all the samples that we were transporting, but nothing happened. The Uruguayan Customs officer was tougher: “A Brazilian car with an Uruguayan trailer: IMPOSSIBLE”. We had heard that before (when we were crossing the Argentinean-Uruguayan boarder) but that seemed a long time ago and during all the bureaucratic work that we did it was never mentioned again.

It did not look like the official was after a bribe. He only ordered us to park somewhere else. When we got out of the car the man had found a solution. He was willing to let us pass, but if stopped ahead we were to say that we had collected the trailer AT the boarder. In this way the trailer would not have passed the boarder and there was no problem.

OK, whatever. Parabens! We made it crossing the boarder!

We were celebrating to early. Some kilometers later we were stopped by customs again. This time we just had some (nervous) chit chat about the Uruguayan and Brazilian beaches. Again some kilometers later we were stopped by the police: we did not have our lights on. I honestly had no idea that this was obligatory. We were fined and were warned that we could not leave the country before the fine was paid. Great: now we had something else to do before we could take the ferry!!

I am writing this on the ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires. Gige paid the fine early in the morning and the Uruguayan customs officers let us pass to get onto the ferry although they warned us that this the combi Brazilian car – Uruguayan trailer with a Dutch driver was not allowed. Let's see how their Argentinean partners on the other side of the river will like this international blend.

If we pass customs (and of course we will!) there is 3177,5 km of asphalt and gravel waiting for us before we arrive to Tierra del Fuego.

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