Bolivia at last
Trip Start Sep 19, 2005
35Trip End Mar 19, 2006
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I spent a quick overnight last night in La Quiaca, the hugely uninteresting town just over the border in Argentina, so I could get some washing done, and his morning I walked over the bridge into Bolivia. I think it was the easiest border crossing so far - no Chileans obsessing about searching luggage for contraband fruit and veg, and no faffing about waiting for a whole coachload of people to get their passports stamped. Also, I asked for - and got - a whole 90 days endorsed into my passport, which I was quite pleased about since the (admittedly generally useless) Lying Planet said you normally only get 30 days.
Once I had changed some Pesos into Bolivianos, the taxi driver I hired to get me to the train station endeared himself to me greatly by asking if I was from Buenos Aires, so I can definitely say I like Bolivians so far!
I've bought my train ticket and now I'm just waiting for 3pm when I need to head back the station. I left "the beast" in the left luggage place at the station and allegedly they will load him onto the train for me and I will see him in Tupiza, my next stop. Whether this will happen or not I am sceptical, but I've decided just to cross that bridge when I come to it and not to worry about it for now.
Within about half an hour of being here, I've already been the attempted target of one of the better known scams in Bolivia. I was minding my own business on a bench in the square when a random bloke comes up and asks about when the train leaves. So I reply and then try to ignore him. 5 minutes later his mate comes up and shows a hilariously rubbish ID, clearly "laminated" with some sellotape, and says he is from the police and can he see our identity cards or passports. The first bloke willingly gets his out to show the fake policeman, and they expect me to do the same. Instead I snigger and make a swift exit. Like I'm going to give my passport to those jokers!
Anyway, nothing else interesting to report, will write again soon,