The United States uses dogs to search for explosives and drugs. Chile uses dogs to make sure you're not illegally transporting produce into the country. I'm sure there is a good reason for this, but it makes going through customs at the border a time-consuming ordeal! I had friends who were stuck at the border crossing for 4 hours so I was a little nervous about it, but I think my bus got through in about an hour and a half. Since the border dividing Chile and Argentina is the Andes mountain range, it's quite a scenic location!
We had to get off the bus, go inside, and everyone had to go through a line to get stamped "out" of Argentina. Then go through another line to get stamped "into" Chile. Then we went back to the bus, where they take all the luggage out from below, and it goes through a metal detector (apple detector?) while dogs sniff all the bags. While that is happening, passengers take all their other luggage from the bus and put it on a table. Dogs run up and down the tables, smelling all the bags. A few guilty passengers had apples or other produce in their bags, which the dogs found and the people had to get rid of.
It was all very strange.
|Going back into Chile-a very windy, long, switchbacky road. This went on and on and on.|