The last 3 days have been stressful. I’ve been on pins and needles the whole time not knowing if anything would work out.
It all started Monday morning where Mack and I woke up nice and early to make it to the Brazilian embassy in iguazu a few minutes before it opened to make sure we were gonna get our visas in 24 hours. Once it opened we were told we needed more paper work and made our way back to the hostel in already scorching heat. An hour later when everything was printed out I handed all my papers and passport to the man behind the desk, he went through all my paperwork nodding and everything was looking promising. Then he turned to my passport and started looking through the pages, one after the other, very slowly examining every stamp. He went through the whole thing and handed it back to me and shook his head. ‘not valid’ he said in broken English then starting raising his voice and yelling spanish at me. I didn’t understand his words but I knew exactly what he was saying…
This is the back story behind all of this. About a month back when we were in santiago I didn’t have enough pages in my passport, the lady at the embassy told me I’d have to wait 2 weeks to get a new passport and there was nothing else I could do. Obviously I couldn’t wait around santiago for 2 weeks and I couldn’t leave the country without a passport so after much debating I decided to rip out a few of my visas from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. All three of those countries give you a dumb visa that takes up a whole page, I’ve been to those countries multiple times so basically 5 of my pages in my passport were covered by these massive expired visas that look like this:
I thought there was no harm in taking these out as they were already expired and really didn’t serve a purpose anymore. So one by one I started peeling them off. Cambodia and Vietnam went pretty good, you could hardly tell the was something there. Only a dirt outline and some ink from the stamp stayed but I thought it looked really good. So I had two pages cleared and decided to risk it and get the Brazilian visa in iguazu because they only take 24 hours and it’s quick and easy. After zigzagging south through Chile and Argentina I realized I almost filled up both those pages and needed to rip out two more. (I was keeping in mind that in order to get a Brazilian visa you must have two full pages open.) These next two visas that I ripped out didn’t go as good. They must have used different glue and it left residue and made the page look quite ugly:
I spent hours picking away at the sticky page to try and get it presentable for the border, when we crossed into Argentina heading to ushuaia the border officer didn’t seem to notice the shitty pages so I thought I would be in the clear for getting my brazilian visa. Well it turns out I wasn’t and they were not able to stamp it. I tried everything, I went to the office multiple times trying to talk to different people and I even offered the guy money because I had not other options. I went back to the hostel crushed, in my head all I was thinking was I am going to miss my flight on Thursday and I am going to miss carnival and I’m going to miss being in our rented apartment. I looked at all my options and nothing was looking good, I knew I needed a new passport because there was a big possibility they wouldn’t stamp it when I planned to come back to Canada. It was now noon on Monday and I was making every effort to make this work. I decided to call the embassy in Buenos Aires and see what they could do. They told me if I could get to buenos aires tomorrow morning there would be a chance I could get a temporary passport in 24 to 48 hours. The lady at the embassy sent me all the paperwork (15 pages) that I needed to fill out and have ready for the next morning. I was in shambles and decided I was going to go to the bus station and take the next bus to buenos aires and see if I could make this happen. I quickly packed up and said bye to Mack and next thing I knew I was heading south to buenos aires. 18 hours later I got off the bus and went directly to the Canadian embassy. I wasn’t there for long before she found out I was missing a lot of stuff. I needed to run around a city I’ve never been to, try and get passport pictures and other forms done. Just before they closed for lunch I handed in all my papers and the 24 hour process began. When I finally checked into my hostel I needed to sleep, when I woke up it was 4 in the afternoon and realized I got an email while I was sleeping from the embassy saying that I needed to sign one more paper, the embassy was now closed and I felt like I lost my chance at getting the passport the next morning. My mom was working very hard at home in the cold to get all the proper paperwork together and I thank her for that. I woke up bright and early the next day to sign the last form hoping it wasn’t going to effect my chances of getting the passport. After waiting around for everything to get processed I finally received my temporary passport! It was such a relief and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, 5 minutes before she went for lunch. I immediately made my way to the bus station to catch the next bus to iguazu falls. I got on the 1:30 bus and I arrived in iguazu just after 8 in the morning. I quickly went to get all my paperwork sorted and headed to the Brazilian embassy. I was extremely nervous something would end up going wrong here and if something did go wrong all my efforts would be useless and would not make it to rio in time for carnival. In the end the Brazilian visa was supposed to take 24 hours but i got lucky and he told me it would be ready in an hour and a half! I’m assuming it’s because it’s carnival and they need to get them out quick.
So later today I will be hopping on a bus again (this one is 24 hours.) and going to rio to meet up with my friends! I looked for flights and I couldn’t get myself to cough up 600 dollars for a flight when they are supposed to be 120.