We came back to Lima early and our reservation at Sol de Oro wasn’t for the day we actually returned. We had to move rooms because we didn’t like the first one they gave us—the only one available of the kind we wanted. We ended up paying more but we got a much larger one-bedroom apartment that had a balcony with a private, enclosed Jacuzzi.
On our first day in Lima we went to the governmental office for visas to get a three- month extension. We got our visas extended for three months without any problems by paying US$100. Then we went to try to get the three-month permission for our car extended.
We were sent from one place to another and finally told that we had to go to the Aduana/Customs office near the airport. The following day Dimitri drove out to that office and spent hours trying to find the correct person. He did and was told that the law does not permit an extension to allow a car registered in a foreign country (in our case, Chile) to stay longer in Perú.
That night we were invited to the gorgeous home of a Limeño couple who we had met at Laguna Seca in Cajamarca. They got us in contact with a lawyer who specializes in immigration matters who couldn’t help. The following day Dimitri contacted another lawyer who gave him the name of the head of correct section of the Aduana. Dimitri was able to confirm that the information he had been given originally was correct. There is no provision in the law to permit a foreign-registered car to remain in Perú longer than three months. We had to get out of Perú before May 6th when the permission for our car expired.
So we had been in Perú three months and seen a great deal of the country but not the most famous sites of Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca, or the Colca Canyon for that matter. Boy were we disappointed. Dimitri, in his inimitable style, looked on the positive side of this. He suggested that since we were going south anyway, why not spend the Southern Hemisphere winter skiing in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina? Of course, I wanted to get to Chile and then turn around and come back to Perú with a new three-month permission for the car.
We stayed in Lima long enough to see our friend Berry again and spend a day with her, have an interview with Mily Leiva from El Comercio, have dinner with our friends from Living in Peru and have lots of delicious food at T’anta, Fusión, Astrid & Gastón and La Mar. (See Appendix I with all of our Lima restaurant reviews.) And, we went to the Peru Prom (IPERU) office to tell them about the law which was requiring us to cut short our tourist exploration of Perú. Not surprisingly, the response from the Aduana was less than satisfying.
Then we started what turned out to be a three-day drive to get back to Chile. This is travel at a pace we really don’t like. But we decided to get back to Chile and deal directly with the one-year visa extension that was waiting for us to pick up in Chile.