Run the equator: The last piece of the puzzle

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The last piece of the puzzle

I got my visa for Bolivia today! Now the requirements for entering the whole chain of countries are met all the way to South Africa.

A while ago I spoke on the phone with the Bolivian honorary consul in Seattle and he told me the earliest time I could apply for the tourist visa was thirty days before the trip. He even seemed vexed when I asked if he could make an exception because of my peculiar situation, leaving the country soon, and so on: "If my government tells me 30 days, then it is 30 days..."

I decided to try my chances again this Wednesday and called again. Surprise, surprise, this time he had no problem giving me the visa in advance, and when I told him that I would be leaving on Monday he offered to get it for me by Thursday, since he didn't work on Fridays, if I would fax him the application and pay the $20 rush fee. Go figure... he must have had a bad hair day the other time.

Today I walked into his office in Tukwila (of all places to chose for a consulate...) and completed the process. He was very nice and gave me the address of a travel agency in La Paz run by somebody related to him. We had a short chat about our planned trip and when I told him we were planning to get from Bolivia to Buenos Aires by bus or train he told me "hmmm, you don't know what you're getting yourself into..."


Anonymous said...

Remember to check whether there are new visa requirements as you move from places to places. I was deported from Quito back to Lima for not having a visa. Apparently, they changed the visa requirement 2 months after I left my home country

Big Fat Rat said...

That sucks. Fortunately, it mostly happens the other way - countries develop closer relationships and remove the tourist visa requirements. A few years ago, as a Romanian citizen, I would have needed visas for all South American countries. Now just Peru and Bolivia want me to have one in advance...