26 March 2011/26 marzo 2011

Ecuador immigration office

Doug and I drove to Ecuador today.  My visa for being in Peru expired today.  Doug’s would expire on the 30th of March.  When you enter Peru, you are automatically given 90 days.  You can ask for up to six months when you enter the country and it is up to the discretion of the immigration officer whether you get the extra time.   All we needed to renew our visas was to leave Peru and then return.  We decided to take the day and drive into Ecuador, have lunch in Masala, maybe poke around a bit, and then come back home.   We got our passports stamped leaving Peru, but somehow missed the immigration office to get an entry stamp for Ecuador.  When we reached the checkpoint for vehicle inspections, the officer asked us for our passports and questioned why we didn’t have the Ecuadorian visa stamp.  We explained that we didn’t see where this was supposed to happen, and would only be in Ecuador for a few hours.  He waved us on and told us this wouldn’t be a problem as long as we stayed close to the border and returned later in the day.  So after lunch and a bit of shopping, we headed back to the border and figured we’d better get the Ecuadorian visa before trying to get back into Peru.  We found this station, filled out the paperwork and got the visa.  We hopped back in the car, and headed to the border.  The Peruvian immigration officer pointed out to us that we had only gotten an entrance stamp, and were missing the exit stamp.  So, back we went to find the immigration exit office.  Well, if you look at the picture, you can see two awnings.  The blue one covers the window for the entrance visas and immigration control.  The white awning covers the window for the exit visas!  I guess we weren’t too observant.  We now have a Peruvian visa valid for the next 6 months.

Doug y yo fuimos a Ecuador hoy dia. Mi visa para estar en Perú venció hoy en día. La visa de Doug expiraría el 30 de marzo.  Al ingresar al Perú, automáticamente se le conceden 90 días. Usted puede solicitar hasta seis meses, al entrar en el país y es a discreción del oficial de inmigración si usted consigue el tiempo extra. Todo lo que necesita para renovar nuestras visas fue para salir del Perú y luego regresar. Decidimos tomar el día y viajar al Ecuador, almorzar en Masala, tal vez investigar un poco, y luego volver a casa. Tenemos nuestros pasaportes sellados cuando salimos de Perú, pero de alguna manera nos perdimos la oficina de inmigración para obtener un sello de entrada para el Ecuador. Cuando llegamos al punto de control para inspección de vehículos, el oficial nos pidió los pasaportes y nos preguntó por qué no tenemos el sello de la visa ecuatoriana. Le explicamos que no vimos nunca oficina de immigracion cuando entramos al ecuador, y sólo sería en el Ecuador durante unas horas. Él nos saludó y nos dijo que en esto no sería un problema si nos quedamos cerca de la frontera y devueltos al final del día. Así que después del almuerzo y un poco de compras, nos dirigimos de nuevo a la frontera y pensé que lo mejor será obtener la visa ecuatoriana antes de intentar volver a Perú. Hemos encontrado esta estación, llenamos el papeleo y obtuvemos la visa. Nos subimos en el coche y se dirigió a la frontera. El funcionario de inmigración peruana nos señaló que habían recibido sólo un sello de entrada, y habían desaparecido el sello de salida. Así, de nuevo nos fuimos a encontrar la oficina de la salida de inmigración. Bueno, se fije en la imagen, puede ver dos toldos. El azul cubre la ventana para las visas de entrada y control de la inmigración. El toldo blanco cubre la ventana para el visado de salida! Supongo que no eran demasiado atento. Ahora tenemos unas visas peruana que son válida para los próximos 6 meses.

As we traveled north toward Ecuador, I was surprised to find green fields of rice!  Once we were north of Punta Sal, the lanscape became a lot greener than anything we see around our area. 

 As we came into Tumbes, we crossed a river and saw this malecon (waterfront walkway).  Tumbes is a fair size city; not quite as large as Piura but a city none-the-less.  It has an airport which many visitors to Mancora use.  We’ve been told that Tumbes is a bit closer than Piura, but we found it to be almost equally distant in time.
Cuando entramos a Tumbes, cruzamos un río y vimos un malecón.  Tumbes es una ciudad del tamaño justo, no es tan grande como la ciudad de Piura, pero en verdad, una ciudad. Cuenta con un aeropuerto que muchos visitantes a utilizar cuando visitan a Máncora. Nos han dicho que Tumbes es un poco más cerca de Piura, pero hemos encontrado que sea casi la misma distancia en el tiempo 

 

 As we entered into Ecuador, the flora changed to very lush, very green countryside.    We were headed to Masala, which is known as the banana capital of the world.  Not hard to believe after driving through mile after mile of banana plantations on both sides of the highway.  Banana growers cover the bananas as they come on with a plastic bag that helps protect the fruit from disease, insects, birds and other pests.  I found out that a banana plant is not a tree or even a bush.  The banana plant is a perennial herb.  It is distantly related to the bird of paradise, ginger and heliconia.

Cuando entramos en el Ecuador, la flora cambia a muy exuberante, paisaje muy verde. Nos dirigimos a Masala, que es conocida como la capital bananera del mundo. No es difícil de creer después de conducir a través de kilómetros y kilómetros de plantaciones de banano a ambos lados de la carretera. Los productores de banano cubrir los plátanos, ya que vamos con una bolsa plastica que ayuda a proteger el fruto de las enfermedades, insectos, aves y otras plagas. Me apprendi de que una planta de banano no es un árbol o incluso un arbusto. La planta de banano es una hierba perenne. Es lejanamente relacionado con el ave del paraíso, jengibre y heliconias.

 
Practically next door to the immigration office in Ecuador, we saw this building.  It was obviously very old, and not currently in use.  However the was enough activity around to suggest that someone had intentions of renovating it.  It is so ornate and such a mixture of architectural styles, I can’t begin to guess it’s past; perhaps a hotel?  The gardener working in the grass out front thought I was nuts as I jumped out of the pick up to take pictures.
 
Practically next door to the immigration office in Ecuador, we saw this building.  It was obviously very old, and not currently in use.  However the was enough activity around to suggest that someone had intentions of renovating it.  It is so ornate and such a mixture of architectural styles, I can’t begin to guess it’s past; perhaps a hotel?  The gardener working in the grass out front thought I was nuts as I jumped out of the pick up to take pictures.
Practically next door to the immigration office in Ecuador, we saw this building.  It was obviously very old, and not currently in use.  However the was enough activity around to suggest that someone had intentions of renovating it.  It is so ornate and such a mixture of architectural styles, I can’t begin to guess it’s past; perhaps a hotel?  The gardener working in the grass out front thought I was nuts as I jumped out of the pick up to take pictures.
Prácticamente al lado de la oficina de inmigración en el Ecuador, hemos visto este edificio. Era, evidentemente, muy viejo, y no en uso. Sin embargo, la era suficiente actividad en torno a sugerir que alguien tenía intenciones de renovarlo. Es tan adornado y una mezcla de estilos arquitectónicos, no puedo empezar a adivinar su pasado, tal vez un hotel? El jardinero que trabaja en la parte delantera ee la hierba pensé que estaba loco ya que saltó de la camioneta para tomar fotos.
 
 

I also found it strange to be using US currency and coin in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian mint makes 5, 20, 25, and 50 cent, and $1 coins.  All paper money is  printed in the US.  In the not so distant past, the Ecuadorian “sucre” became so devalued, and the country’s economy was so shaky, they adopted the US dollar to help stabilize things.  We also found prices in Ecuador to be high; certainly higher than Peru, and probably higher than in the states for similar products.

También me pareció extraño estar utilizando la moneda de EEUU en el Ecuador. La Casa de Moneda de Ecuador hace 5, 20, 25 y 50 céntimos y monedas de $ 1. Todo el dinero de papel se imprime en los EEUU. En un pasado no tan lejano, el ecuatoriano “sucre” se convirtió en tan devaluada, y la economía del país era tan inestable, que adoptó el dólar de los EEUU para ayudar a estabilizar las cosas. También encontramos los precios en el Ecuador a ser alta, sin duda más alto que el Perú, y probablemente mayor que en los estados unidos para productos similares.

 
 

 
 

 

 
 
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4 Comments

  1. I’m really curious about that building, too. It looks very elaborate – and is there a ferris wheel in the background? I remember Ecuador as being very lush. How long was the drive for you? It’s surprising how the vegetation can change in a short distance. I used to have a picture of me sitting on the equator – there is a site where there they have the lines in cement, marking the exact point of the equator – so I sat on it – on cheek on each side! I wonder if you can look that building up on the internet and find out what it is/was.

    1. I did try to Google Huanquillas, Ecuador to see if there would be any information about that building. I don’t remember a ferris wheel in the background, but there might of been. I didn’t get the information I wanted, but I did find some horror stories about border crossings and a couple other bizarre stories; including one about the Taliban in Huanquillas….. a whore house. Try a google search on that one for an entertaining story!

  2. I love your adventures, even though you might have gotten a little frustrated for you two.
    Did you bring back some bananas while you up there?

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