Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back in Bolivia

I crossed the border of Brazil and Bolivia yesterday. It was a long trip, my flight got into Campo Grande at about 10:30pm and then I took a taxi to the bus station and an overnight bus to Corumbá. I got in at 6am but I had to wait two hours to get an exit stamp from Brazil so I could enter Bolivia. A bus and taxi ride later I was in. The officer at the border made sure I understood I was to stay no longer than 30 days and that I couldn't return until next year. So, I will have to go to the immigration office in Santa Cruz to look into getting an extension on my visa. If you overstay there is usually a fee when you cross the border to enter another country but since Im leaving from the airport it may not even matter.

I realized I am much more comfortable here, in Bolivia. When I was in Brazil I didn't notice immediately how much more difficult it was travelling in a place where I didn't speak the language. I was always able to communicate what I needed somehow, whether it be in Spanish, English, or broken Portuguese, but it is much less stressful (and embarrassing) when you can communicate with locals easily. The hostel here is great, there are only 3 guests so I practically have the whole place to myself.

There is a huge pool and it is right on the edge of the Pantanal. I was relieved to find that it is hot here because some of the places I visited in Brazil were quite cold. The only bad thing is that the mosquitoes come out at sunset but I will just have to get used to it because in a few weeks Ill be back at the park. At least I can hide in my room or in the common areas here. Tomorrow I will be taking the `Death Train` to Santa Cruz (15 hours). It earned its name in the 80´s when locals used it to transport contraband and sat on the roof. When the train derailed, which happened frequently, people often fell of and died. Its much safer now, and I will most definitely not be riding on the roof ;)

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