Punta del Diablo, and my first border crossing
Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
37Trip End Ongoing
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I requested that the bus driver stop for me at the Brazilian passport control, and five minutes later I came out with an exit stamp from Brazil. I arrived in Chui at about 20:30 hoping to catch a bus onwards to Punta del Diablo, a mere 40 km away, but to my chagrin there were no more buses leaving that night. I would have to spend the night in Chui. I had feared this might happen, but I couldn't find any information on the internet about when the last bus leaves Chui so I decided to take a gamble
Take the ugliest little city you can imagine, draw an imaginary line through it, make the population on one side of the line speak spanish, and on the other side portuguese; that's how God created Chui. I was quite amuzed about the half-half thing (I can be in Brazil on one side of the street, paying in Reals, and in Uruguay after crossing it, paying in Pesos), but I was not curious enough to stick around more than was absolutely necessary, so I caught an early morning bus to Punta del Diablo. Again the bus stopped at passport control, and I, being the only gringo on the bus, got off to get my entrance stamp for Uruguay. The border crossing was painless, as was my transition to spanish (although every now and again I still spit out an "obrigado" instead of "gracias" or a "onde" instead of "donde").
I was very tired when I arrived in Punta del Diablo, having not gotten much sleep the night before. I planned on finding a hostel and taking a short nap, but as soon as I saw this place I knew that wouldn't happen
My plan is to spend a few days at some local beaches, and then head to Montevideo, where I'll spend a few days with my Uncle Mike and Aunt Sharyn, who live in Buenos Aires. They moved there a few months ago and are there on a tourist visa, so they have to leave the country every few months. This time they're taking a hop, skip and a jump across the river to Uruguay.
By the way, I left New York on October 14th, so today marks one month of traveling
number of hours spent on buses: 47
number of hours spent on ferries/boats: 4
total number of hours spent on public transportation: 51
longest bus ride: 9 hours from Blumenau to Porto Alegre
number of pictures taken: 394
number of Couchsurfing hosts: 5
number of nights Couchsurfing: 25
number of nights spent on bus: 2
number of nights paid for accommodations: 3
total paid for accommodations: R$80
total paid for transportation: R$483
number of soccer matches attended: 1
number of times getting robbed: 0
number of times I shaved: 1
number of border crossings: 1
city where I spent the most time: Rio de Janeiro, 9 days
best bargains: a used copy of Catch-22 in Portuguese for R$10, a phone card which lasted me the whole month for R$6.50
postcards sent: 3
most common quote: "I'm going to call your mother and tell her you don't eat enough!"
weight lost: about 3 lbs.
new friendships: countless!