Santa Cruz

Trip Start May 12, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We left Bonito on a bus at 6 in the morning and arrived into the border city of Corumba about lunch time.  We had prebooked our tickets for the "Death Train" to Santa Cruz so we just had to cross the border and get to the station on the other side.  We had the two Israeli guys from the hostel in tow, but I think they thought we were depending on them.  So we get the bus to the border and myself and Steph with our usual immigration techniques plan on saying nothing - not that we really could if we wanted to as we don't have any Spanish except like please and thanks (We are well mannered!).  The two lads however have a different approach they yap and yap and yap.  They were ahead of us and when they went out the immigration dude was asking us like are they your amigos and we were like eh..... No.  Not really, met them in last place, and of course then the two of them came back in and were like ah yes amigos amigos ci ci... so we felt like right eejits then!!

The girl who worked in the Fazenda in the Pantanal had filled us in a wee bit on the border and stuff and said that we should change our Reais with the dudes that hang around the border as we would get a good rate blah blah.  So we proceeded to try change money with one guy, got a wee bit better of a rate (like 0.01% better!) than I did when we got to Santa Cruz but totally felt like we were doing something super illegal and the immigration guys were gonna come out of their office and send us back to Brazil, but it was ok.

I donīt really have much to say about Santa Cruz because we didnīt really get up to much here.

We did a good bit of walking around the city, and it is actually a really nice city.  There is a big plaza in the middle and you would think that you are in Europe, not one of the poorest countries in South America.  Although Santa Cruz is meant to be the richest city/state in Bolivia and is supposedly much more modern than the rest (we cannot really compare yet as its the only one we have been in!).

We went to the cinema twice as well though.  Took a picture of it too.  It was just like being in Liffey Valley or one of the cinemas at home.  We saw the new Indiana Jones, I enjoyed it, Steph did too but she had a wee snooze in the middle as we were wrecked after our travelling.  We also saw the Charlie Wilsons War (not the Bucket List as I had wrote previously, dunno why I have that film in my head!) which is only out here even though it has been in Ireland for ages and it was really good, preferred this one.

We also went out for the first time since like Rio.  We had the barbeque/samba night at Iguassu but that was in the hostel so it didnīt count.  We went to, yes I know, an Irish bar.  Seemingly it was the only place to go on a Wednesday.  So we had a scrumptious dinner there and stayed for a few cocktails and waited for the live music to start.  There was a covers band playing all like rock sort music (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2, Guns n Roses etc..). Bit strange 5 Bolivians blasting out all these songs but they were ok.  We of course were the only people in the bar that spoke English, not one member of staff even had a word.  We cannot complain too much though as when we got our bill at the end of the night they had only charged us for about half of our drinks so we paid and ran!!!

We did a bit of window shopping too as we found a shopping centre and also the cinema centre had loads of shops as well.  Very boring few days.  Next stop Sucre, hopefully will be a bit more excitement here!
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