Viviana tucks them into the truck papers. I concentrate, overtake long-distance transports returning to Bolivia and Brazil from Chile through Argentina.
“Check them?” We’re into corkscrew bends; a tunnel; customs; immigration.
“The date’s wrong! The permission’s dated last year.”
“Damn! Back! All that way!”
“They won’t notice!”
“Officers are paid to notice.”
“Not in Argentina!”
“Truck papers?” Uniformed scowls.
Viviana smiles. I squirm. Officers scrutinize, move lips.
“Such a beautiful place!” Viviana interrupts. Smiles. Gestures to snow, peaks.
Officers raise puzzled eyes. Nod. Stamp. Gesture. “Bienvenidos a Argentina!”
I ease out breath and clutch.
Viviana smiles. “See?”
Ronald and his Peruvian wife Viviana worked in both Argentina and Chile for 10 years and crossed the high passes in the Andes over a hundred times in a truck with Chilean plates that belonged to Viviana’s cousin. The border crossing at El Paso Internacional de los Libertadores never ceased to impress with its beauty nor to provide many, many surprises.