Monday, September 7, 2015

Don't Travel With Fruit

Occasionally in our travels we see something which, I'm sure, is not the least bit strange to the person who lives there ~ but to those of us eavesdropping on a new culture, seems very strange indeed ~ 

Such was my discovery of  the "Dog Brigade of Senasa".

I've heard of, and have seen drug-sniffing dogs in various airports and train depots around the world;  Occasionally, though not willingly, surrendering to actually being sniffed.  (And worrying about what cosmetic or hair product in my luggage is going to smell like something that it is not!  And worrying about what a jail cell might actually look like in this particular part of the world. And worrying about not speaking the language well enough to ask for my one phone call. And worrying about whether I even get a phone call on this continent.  And worrying about not remembering, under duress, what the international dialing code is for the US (North America is +1).  And wondering if they even have phones here. And...........etc. The whole dog-sniffing thing is a little stressful.)

We were intrigued, recently, to witness the training of a couple of bomb-sniffing dogs at the airport in Portland, Oregon.  It was interesting to chat with the trainers about how many hundreds of smells these dogs are trained to "hit on" compared to the dozen or so for drug-doggies.

But I've never seen fruit sniffing dogs before.......

Evidently they take their fruit very seriously here in Peru.  

So today's travel tip is:  Don't Travel With Fruit in Peru.  
Colombian drugs, perhaps.  But, whatever you do, don't take on the Dog Brigade of Senasa.  They look absolutely vicious.  

And I can't promise that you'll get that one phone call if they haul you off to jail 'cause you're smuggling star fruit.  Or tree tomatoes. Or papaya's.   
Just don't say I didn't warn 'ya.


  1. Reminds me of the California border checks! Although the agriculture folk at the CA checks seem pretty casual most of the time! Wow! Those dogs do look mean!

    1. Yes, Karen, I thought about the ag checks @ the California borders ~ or the ag checks as you come in to (and out of) Hawaii. Both Ecuador and Peru have some amazing tropical fruits to protect. So while I'm familiar with the concept of protecting crops from what can be devastating insect contamination, I will admit to being amused with this application. It's all part of the fun of travel.....


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