The tiny border post high up on the Altiplano had no facilities for conducting a check, so the immigration official dispatched me to the clinic in the nearest town. This involved a three-mile hike 14,000ft above sea level: if you could survive the walk you must be healthy.
The doctor's English was even worse than my Spanish, so his interview technique involved a series of increasingly distasteful mimes to inquire whether I felt any symptoms of the gastric illness.
He then ordered me to lie on the examination table, where he prodded about with none of the finesse of the average Peruvian pickpocket. Finally, bruised and humiliated, I was given a scrappy piece of paper declaring 'Mr Simon' to be disease-free - in exchange for several thousand pesos, value nearly 50p.Reuse content