- To start with, just dont cross at Desaguadero or anywhere else that sketchy. Your best bet. Stick to nice touristy areas.
- Apparently youre not required to go to the Peruvian police station on your way out of the country. If you dont refuse when they ask you to step inside, you could be in for a scam. I read this after our trip of course. Luckily we didnt have US dollars on us, but its been reported that the police will search your luggage for dollars and then confiscate them for being fake (regardless of whether they are or not).
- Take beautiful dollars with you that dont have any tears or scratches or anything. Then when they tell you theyre fake, put on a good performance holding them up to the light and assuring them that you know about counterfeit currency and this isnt it. That was my route to success at least. Confidence.
- Leave plenty of time. We left 9 hrs between La Paz and Tims flight from Juliaca (a 5 to 6 hr trip). Good thing. The power was out at the border crossing and all the immigrations stuff was being done by hand. We stood outside in the rain (with glimpses of snow) for 2 hrs waiting to get into the office. Tims blond hair didnt even get us a break.
Tim is on the plane to Pucallpa, and Mom and I are resting safely and warmly in a great hotel in Puno. After some fairly lousy food in Bolivia, we just finished a delicious Peruvian meal (did I really say that?!) of alpaca steak in wine sauce with mashed apples and a rocoto relleno (stuffed hot pepper). Yay Peru!