The Georges in Peru

Trip to Lima

21 Jul 2020

5:29 am

My phone rang with a call from an unknown number.  Nope.  I wasn't going to answer it as we were getting ready to leave.  It was probably a COVID patient looking for an oxygen tank or someone with a grandfather with COVID.  We were hoping to load the truck and head to Lima before 6:00 am.  

6:09 am

Only 9 minutes late.  After a prayer for a good trip, we're on our way to Lima.  Mary Beth was pretty comfortable lying down.  In fact, she joked that she should always travel that way, lying down on a makeshift bed in the back!

6:15 am

The phone rang again from the same number that called at 5:29. I had Paul send the message, "Sorry, I can't take your call right now, please leave a message."  Undeterred, they called back.  "Well, I guess there's no reason I can't answer patient questions about COVID while I'm driving.  Go ahead and answer it."  It was the highway police.  "Have you left yet?"  "Yes, we're on our way."  "Good.  You are going to be stopped along the way to Lima.  If you have any problems have them call this number."  That was weird.  I tried to figure out what possible type of scam this could be and how some thief would use this to their advantage.  The embassy must have sent them our travel plans they had requested from us to get permission to travel.  Sure enough, 30 minutes later, as we drove by km 48, all the cars ahead of us were waved through the traffic stop and then the policemen suddenly had a look of 'Here they are!' and they motioned us to pull over.  "Your embassy letter." he demanded politely.  Didn't ask for ID.  Didn't ask for a driver's license.  He took a picture of our embassy letter and scanned our license plate and said, "Have a nice drive!"  We were stopped two more times on our 14-hour 45-minute trip, and both times, they scanned our license plate and waved us onward.

8:54 pm

We drove up to the SIM Lima guest house!  Mary Beth did well lying down.  She was a bit dizzy and tired and hopes to recuperate over the next two days before the next leg of our journey.  We are thankful to have arrived well.  The kids did great and commented several times that it wasn't as bad as they expected it to be!