Border crossing into Bolivia

Trip Start Sep 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, October 8, 2007

Next morning went to the (correct) Federal Police and got our exit stamp for Brazil. We went to the museum in the town, the natural history museum where we saw a photo of a man being eaten by a snake, the poor guy. We got some funny looks in this town, as I don`t think they had seen 2 backpackers in their life. The town is typical of the southern Amazon, dirt roads, shabby buildings and nice friendly people who stare alot! It was good to take this trip to get to La Paz as we saw a different part of the Amazon region, its nice to see other towns which are off the beaten track as well.
Got a 5 minute boat trip to Bolivia across the Rio Guapore to Guayaramerin. Again we were sad to leave Brazil. In summary the people there are lovely and friendly, and we saw beautiful places, the highlight would have to be Christ the Redeemer and we both agree that we will come back to Rio again one day.
Arrived in a town called Guayaramerin in the very north of Bolivia, naturally the weather here is as hot as Brazil, so more time for tanning, nice one. When we got off the boat we were met by loads of money exchangers and we didn't realise the importance of these people until about a day later but basically Bolivia is a cash society, its very rare that you can find a place that accepts credit cards. We did change some money here with these guys but only enough to keep us going for about a day. Luckily for us though, some places will accept American dollars. Bolivia is very very cheap, we got our lunch for 1Euro each, soup, rice, meat and veg....happy days for us. However, it is a very poor country as well, there are very few cars and most people get around in Honda bikes, so our first taxi ride was on a bike with a cart attached to it, cool for us, all great new experiences. He brought us to the bus station, here we were hit by a surprise the Bolivian buses, not what we are used to with the stylish Brazilian and Argentina buses. We had been looking forward to these buses as people had warned us but the reality was just as they said, no air con, no toilet / these buses go on 24hour trips, very basic and old fashioned, but we were still excited for some daft reason, let the games begin. This is what we were expecting all of South America to be like so Argentina and Brazil were a very pleasant surprise. We had missed the bus to Rurrebabaque and there was only 1 a day as it takes about 14hours. So instead we decided to break the journing and go as far as Riberalta today, so that's what we did. Riberalta was a bit like Guayaranerin, lots of motor bikes, dirt roads, no banks or ATM's but again these towns are in very remote parts of Bolivia and it is good to see them. We stayed at the Palace Hotel, it was only $4 for the night, but we have to say that you cannot buy luxurious here and to be honest, we would not recommend other gringo's to stay here.
Another interesting point about Bolivia is that all the women still dress in the really old fashioned way, long pleated shirts, woollen shawls and bowler hats, really bizzar looking for us, but thats their culture.
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