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January 6, 2018

Day 55 [Sat 1/6/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru

Day 55 [Sat 1/6/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru

Chicha Morada en Municipaldad del Callao

Update: I am alive and well and resting peacefully in the Hostal Las Fresas, near the Jorge Chávez International Airport, in Callao, Lima, Peru.

There is a God.

The last 24 hours of my life have not gone well. As a grown man, I literally wanted to break down and cry, as I saw my plans for shipping my motorcycle back to the USA crumble.

All of the shippers down here are, at best, inept, inexperienced low-level criminals. This is nothing like what I experienced in Panama City, Panama when I shipped my bike back to the USA a few years ago. That was a cake walk, compared to this hell-hole.

In Lima, I found a shipper [Luis A Ponce Avellaneda +51 947 287 223] at Agencia de Carga Internacional, agreed on a price to fly the bike back to the USA[$2,100.00 USD]. Then we found a person to build the crate[Eric Paul Obeso Fajardo, 998249455], and agreed on an additional price to crate the bike[$500 USD], above and beyond what I'd already paid, which I wasn't happy about. (The costs keep going up, for some reason).

Then, after I've paid all of the exhorbitant costs, and bought a last minute plane ticket to fly back to the United States, then everything falls apart.

Now, he [Luis A Ponce Avellaneda +51 947 287 223] says he needs an additional $2,000.00, for reasons that aren't clear to me.

Here's a link to the criminal's business card and his fraudulent document from Logistics Peruvian Carga. Not clear why it doesn't match is business card. A scammer, through and through.

Here's a link if you want to throw some money in a hole: http://www.logisticsperuvian.com

So now, I'm screwed. I'm not about to hand this criminal an additional $2,000.00. Everything is going to hell in a handbasket. My problem is that, I have a plane ticket to fly back to the USA, but I know that, if I get on that plane, then I'll never see this motorcycle again. And I'll have to fly back down here again. This problem has to be solved, and it has to be solved right now. No reason to fly back to the USA. That's just a waste of time and money, because then I have to turn abound and come back and sort this nightmare out. Better to take care of it now, while I'm down here.

We find an interpreter, Carlos, that's fluent in both Spanish and English. (He works in an office that's just a few doors down. The area we are in is a group of specialised offices clustered around the Aduana (SUNAT) office out at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima.

"Tell him [Luis A Ponce Avellaneda +51 947 287 223] that, either he gives me my money [$2,100.00 USD] back, right now, in US Dollars, or I'm going to the police."

Carlos relays this message to the criminal Luis A Ponce Avellaneda (who's right beside me) in Spanish, and Luis A Ponce Avellaneda promptly refunds most of my money [$1,800.00 USD], in cash, in US Dollars.

Apparently, there are special police down here called the "Tourism Police", and these cucks aren't overly fond of them, for whatever reason.

So, he promptly hands me a stack of $100 bills. Fucking jackass.

Now, I have to deal with Delta Airlines. Carlos walks with me over to the airport via an elevated platform above the inconceivably congested streets of Lima.

Inside the airport, we learn that Delta doesn't have any ticket counters that are open to the public until 11:00 p.m. My flight is, ostensibly, at 2:00 a.m.

So, we leave and go back to his office in the Aduana office complex. I'm trying to decide if I should bother riding back to the apartment in Miraflores, (1 hour), only to turn around and come back to the airport (1 hour). It seems pointless. So instead, I just walk over to the airport and wait for Delta to open their ticket counter. Oddly, at about 8:30 p.m., one of the other airlines packs up all of their signs and their little line guiding ropes, and Delta sets theirs up, and at 11:00 p.m., I'm the 1st person at the window and I explain to them that I can't fly tonight. She doesn't speak a word of English. She marks something cryptic on my reservation, and hands it back to me. I assume that, the ticket has been canceled/refunded to me? I'm not real sure. I've done everything that I could do. I came here. I told them I couldn't fly. I'm assuming the funds are still available to me. Time will tell.

Now, I catch a taxi back to the apartment in Miraflores.

The taxi driver takes me back to Miraflores apartment, and I get in at about midnight. They've left the door open for me.

So I get into bed and crash. This was all yesterday - Friday, January 5th, 2018.

This, this morning [Saturday January 6th], I get up and now, I'm trying to come up with a plan. My friends are leaving. David and Johan are checking out, and riding down to Pisco today. I have to check out of the apartment also.

So, now I'm trying to come up with a plan. The best thing seems to me to be to go out to the airport, and find a room in that general area, even though the rates are higher there. I need to be near the airport, and near my motorcycle, so that I can help push this process forward.

I go online to booking.com, a website I learned about from Johan, and I find a private room near the airport in a hostal for 30 Nuevo Sol a night. ($10 USD), so I book it for 3 nights. (I figure this will take some time to sort out, and they're going to be closed over the weekend, I assume).

Now, I want to call Uber to pick me up, but I can't get Uber to work, and they don't use Lyft here It keeps telling me to enter the code that they sent me, but I've not gotten any codes.

This is sort of what's frustrating about the traveling. Like...when things fall apart, they seem to do so in a way that would be unimaginable in the USA.

Finally, I just go into the other room and ask David to use Uber to get me a car, and I give him the address of my new hostal by the airport.

He'll be here in 3 minutes.

Now, I'm packing up all my stuff in a frantic pace. I'm got to get out of here in a hurry. So I pack up everything, say goodbye to David and Johan, and race outside to find my Uber driver.

Hotel Las Fresas
Calle Las Fresas 221
Urbanizacion el Oliver-Callao

The Uber driver takes me out to my hostal, not far from the Jorge Chavez Lima International Airport, using Waze. I tell him to make sure the hostal is open, and he does. I pay him a few Nuevo Sols, and exit the vehicle, and go into the hostal.

When I check into the hostal, Paulino, acts like he wasn't expecting me. He only speaks Spanish, but he's trying to figure out - When do you check in? When do you check out? How much do you pay? I show him all of this in booking.com. He records it all meticulously. Asks for my passport, etc. This is sort of the drill, for whatever reason.

I get all checked in, and he leads me up to my room on the 4th floor.

It's fine. They call this a hostal, but I have a private room, and I'd wager money I'm the only one in the place. No A/C, and not even a fan, which is unusual, in my experience. But I have hot water shower. Woohoo!

Now, I really don't know what to do. It's Saturday. Really, I want to jump off of a bridge. I want to rest. I'm exhausted. And I really don't know how to go forward at this point. So, I decide to go to sleep for a bit. I sleep until about noon or so.

Then, I decide that I have to get up and deal with this situation. Like...it's not going to get better on it's own. I've got the face the music. I'm the idiot that got myself into this situation. Some part of me must have wanted this, on some level. So, let's deal with it.

Also, I think about how much better off I'll be tomorrow, if I get out of bed and deal with this situation now. This helps me...to visualize my future-self. My future-self is always better off if I get out of bed and deal with my problems, instead of just trying to sleep through the barking dogs, crowing roosters, construction, skill saws, etc.

So I go downstairs, and tell the owner that I need a taxi so that I can to go Aduana to deal with my motorcycle situation. He's eating lunch with a younger family member - not his son - and he indicates to me that a taxi will cost $5 USD, but if I wait a minute, he can get me a ride for $5 Nuevo Sols (about $2 USD). Furthermore, he says, he'll come get me in 10 minutes. I'm like...uh...ok. Fair enough.

After about 15 minutes, I'm like....ok...I've waited long enough. So I go back downstairs, and I'm like....call me a taxi.

But now, comes the unexpected part. All three of us go outside, me, Paulino, and the young boy. Now, a taxi comes by, and Paulino flags it down, but they won't takes us for the airport for 5 Neuvo Sols, so he waves them off. They wanted 8, I think (nearly $3.00 USD).

But the next taxi takes all 3 of us to the airport for 5 Nuevo Sols ($1.66 USD).

Now, we get out and start walking, and I lead them to the place where my motorcycle is being stored. My problems in all of this are too numerous to go into, but I thought that I should start with 1) who is the guy that has my bike, 2) what is his phone number 3) what's his address. So, I'm starting with the basics.

But now, I have a guy with me that speaks Spanish that's on my side. Apparently, this guy that has my motorcycle [Eric Paul Obeso Fajardo 998249455] is demanding another $300 USD. This is news to me. So, things are worse than I'd imagined.

Now, we leave [Eric Paul Obeso Fajardo, 998249455], but at least, I have his name and phone number now. Not clear how much good it does me, but this is where we start, I think.

Now, we walk back to the aduana office complex, and now Paulino is asking around, trying to find who, in this complex, ships motorcycles. Of course, we end up going right back to the criminals where I started at. And I'm like..."We're not dealing with [Luis A Ponce Avellaneda +51 947 287 223] - He's a criminal. I'm not talking to him."

But now, it's kind of interesting because, now I have someone who's solidly on my side, and speaks fluent Spanish. After a lot of discussion of the logistics of the situation, we leave. I don't grasp much of it, as it was all in Spanish. But Paulino indicates that he will have a guy that speaks English call me tonight at 6:00 p.m. and explain it all to me.

So, this was a big step forward today. I have a private room, near the airport, for $20 USD a night. I have a guy that speaks fluent Spanish solidly on my side in the negotiation process, that's interested in helping me get my bike shipped back to the USA. And I have an interpreter that's going to help communicate everything to me tonight at 6:00 p.m.

So, I'm not out of the woods yet, but at least I have some people on my side now, trying to help me. And a place to stay while we sort it out.

Now, we get back to the Hostal, and I tell them that I'm going for dinner. Walk a few blocks, and sit down to eat across from a roundabout intersection with a large sign that says "en Municipaldad del Callao".

A woman comes out, looking shocked. Like...she's never seen gringos in this area of town before, apparently.

"Coca Cola, sin calorias, fria, por favor," I ask.

"Have you tried chicha morada?" she asks. "It's our national drink. It's delicious."

"OK. Fair enough. I'll have some of that, then," I reply. Like...far be it from me to turn down a local favorite. She brings me a glass of purple liquid. I'd say it tastes most like the Hibiscus tea that I've had in parts of Mexico. Delicioso.

"Where are you from?" she asks.

"I rode my motorcycle down from Denver," I explain.



She starts laughing again. Apparently she has family in Denver. Her husband comes out. He was in Denver 4 years ago, apparently. They're shocked.

"How long did it take you to get here?" she laughs.

"Dos mesas, mas or menos," I reply

"You have to be careful walking around with this laptop," she begins.

This is the part I hate the most. Like...if you think you can take it from me, then go for it, otherwise, STFU. I hate this. People project their fears onto you. Like, in a world where the men are all 5' tall and weigh 130 pounds, I'm a 6'2" giant, at 200 lbs. I'm not the first person that the average thug is going to jump, and guns are illegal down here. If you think I'm so defenseless, then come at me. Let's see how it goes for you, how about it?

But I just ignore her concerns. You could be robbed in Chicago or Lima. Neither place is completely safe.

I'm actually pleased with where I'm staying because my room costs $20 a night, and I'm a $2 taxi ride from the airport. [At the Lima Jorge Chavez airport, hotels are $180 USD a night.] So, I'm fine with my current location.

Now, I have some people poised to help me through this nightmare, that speak Spanish. And, tomorrow (Domingo), a day of rest.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 6, 2018 at 3:21 PM


Hey slugger, you got this! We are pulling for you. Thanks for the updates.

Posted by: Steve on January 6, 2018 at 8:34 PM

Thanks, boss. I'm going to start searching for a shipping company in the morning. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on January 7, 2018 at 7:23 PM

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