Pantanal to Bolivia – 22 April 2012

An early start with breakfast (bread and cake) at 6.30 followed by a walking safari at 7. The midges were unbearable walkinh across the grass and through the forest but we did manage to see two magnificent blue macaw (they live for up to 70 years and mate for life) along with other birds, howler monkeys, qati and wild boar (i didn’t get chased!).

We left the farm at 9 for an hours trip to meet our minibus. After that we headed to join the tarmaced road where we said goodbye to Armando, Marianne’s husband who left to head back to Rio.

After travelling for another couple of hours we arrived at Corumba  on the Brazilian/Bolivian border. We went through passport control for Brazil then drove the very short distance across to Bolivia, where we found that the border was closed!  On Marianne’s advice we went through the border and will probably have to pay a fine when we exit as we have no entry stamp. So we are currently travelling as illegal aliens!

Bolivia is clearly far more deprived than Brazil and after a short taxi ride we got to the train station with 3 hours to spare. We went for a couple of beers (45p per can) with Corinne and Jack at a roadside place with music blaring from inside (the others weren’t as adventurous) and then back to the station.

To get on the train we had to shiw our tickets and passport (more than we had to.do to enter the country!). We almost couldn’t get on the train as the policeman noticed that we didn’t have entry stamps but Marianne managed to persuade him that we would sort it out in Santa Cruz, our next stop!  Currently sitting on the very wobbly train with 15 more hours to go…tea is ordered for 7pm – chicken and stuff for about 2 quid!

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