I admit, I was not hot on the whole Bolivia thing at this stage. I hadn’t been feeling too crash hot since Salta, we’d been stiffed out of much too much money by the tour company, we’d broken down more than once on the rough roads and I was really getting sick of being stared at. I was miserable as hell.
My parents skyped me one morning and let me in on some good news. Back at the beginning of the trip I had a little cheapie kindle.
I left my beautiful hand tooled leather and pewter cover at home because it was kinda heavy and I was hoping to lose weight.
It didn’t take very long before my screen died. I tried to get contact Amazon but they just wanted me to call them. From Brazil? Yeah sure.
I sent my kindle home and my dad got in contact with Amazon and I got a refurbished one cheap. My dad popped it in the post and I waited expectantly.
It was meant to be turning up at a friend’s place in Santiago but to no avail. That was six months ago.
I was really disappointed because Chile seemed to be the only place with a decent postal system* and I assumed someone had knicked off with my kindle (and two tubes of vegemite).
So six months later my parents receive a parcel from Chile, only it’s not from me. The parcel that my dad sent had returned. It had got wet and all the writing, the address and return address, had melted in the rain and become incomprehensible.
Luckily for us, some clever clod in Chile had opened the box and my dad’s address was still on the kindle box. They packed it back up and sent it back to Australia. How’s that for service?**
*So far we have found:
Chile: fairly reasonable lines at the post office, not ridiculous prices, they will pack and wrap your parcel to within an inch of it’s life so there is no chance it will fall apart on the way. Staff are generally friendly and helpful.
Argentina: Anything over a postcard results in you having to go to a special post office (in BA it’s near the bus terminal) during special hours and may or may not have to stand in a ridiculous amount of lines. Customs is involved and you know that’s a bad thing.
Brazil: Seems ok but a bit hit and miss with times. Somethings took AGES. People in the post office seemed very friendly. Only accept cash and you have to go through the metal detectors and put your mobile through the little window while smiling at the security guard.
Uruguay: Seemed ok.
Paraguay: Bloody expensive. $4 for a postcard? Don’t think I’ll be sending anything bigger.
Bolivia: Also pricey. Anything over 2 kilos requires customs to come in and process. $80 for two kilos seems a bit over the top.
**It is not lost on me that if I’d just packed the bloody cover, I could have avoided this whole pa lava.