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Motoventure Day 17: End of a Clusterf#$@%#@$%

We were told to expect the paperwork to allow us to leave Peru to arrive in Puno at 9AM, and that we would be ready to leave by 11AM.  Keep in mind this is paperwork that should have been completed before we ever left Huancayo, and that we were delayed in Huancayo for six days from the original start date waiting on it…


Long story short, after sitting around the entire day ON THE STREET at various notaries following closures, openings, movings, delays, and random drama, we ended up outside the export license place at around 5PM expecting to finally be ready to go shortly.  More drama ensued, and we finally were ready to hand in our notarized paperwork and await the return of the Adventurist whose name is on all the papers so we could sign them when the bomb dropped…


At 6:30PM on Friday evening we find out that because we are "exporting" the mototaxis outside Peru, we CANNOT LEAVE ON THE WEEKEND.  The border is closed for commerce on the weekend.  We have thus spent the entire day waiting around on the street for paperwork that can't even get us into Bolivia until Monday.  It's just another simple mistake in the line of simple mistakes that the Adventurists have made in South America that has completely screwed their clientele.  It's boggling to me that this simple fact isn't something that was well known to them weeks before the start of this "adventure" – it's quite a basic thing to check.


As of this morning, over 1/3 of the original participants have dropped out due to the paperwork delays caused by the poor planning of the Adventurists (there is a "graveyard" of turned in mototaxis in Puno that were looted for parts today by the teams here).    Today it appears many more will be dropping out as well…


Unfortunately, myself included.  We have no guarantees that we can even actually get into Bolivia, assuming we are successful leaving Peru.  Then there's no guarantees we can get out of Bolivia into Chile, Argentina, or Paraguay…  At this point I'm just not willing to spend a grand+ and another five days of vacation to postpone my trip a week hoping to get to see the salt flats (the main reason I came down here).


Instead, tonight I (and many other teams) will be asking the Adventurists for our entry fee and deposit to be returned to us as well as discussing additional compensation for the wasted time (though I expect they will tell us to follow up with their lawyers as they have mentioned to previous people who have dropped out).  Then I have to figure out how to get home, hopefully keeping as much of my original flights as possible.


This is a horribly frustrating ending to what should have been a fantastic experience, but I will have some amazing memories and some good friendships to take home with me.  And if the Adventurists act like a profession customer oriented business, I may even find myself trying again next time.


More tomorrow when it all plays out…


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