Trip Start May 02, 2012
64Trip End Jul 31, 2014
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We left Brasil today for Bolivia. This involved getting up early and negotiating our way around customs and emigration with our limited Portuguese. We then had to organise a barge from Bolivia to come and fetch us to take us, and our vehicle, across the Mamore River. We were told that the Mamore is the 16th largest river in the world! We were rather pleased with the ease of all of this, and the officials were really helpful and friendly. When we got to Bolivia we went to the immigration place where we were told that we needed to go back to Brazil to get a visa at the Bolivian Consulate there. (We had researched this before we left, and were informed that a Bolivian visa could be bought at the border) But, no problems, we caught a ferry back to Brasil, leaving our camper in Bolivia. The officials were as friendly as ever, and we proceeded to the Bolivian Consulate, only to discover that the Consul was away for 2 weeks, and nobody else in the office was authorised to issue visas.....!
Anyway, apart from costing rather a lot on unnecessary barge transportation, we had an interesting day. The ports on both sides of the border are a hub of activity with a huge variety of goods being transported all day long. Little boats pick up and drop off goods, and big trucks, plus battered bakkies, that hardly look roadworthy, back up the rutted, muddy road to the river and take stuff away. We had almuerzo (barley soup, then rice with meatballs - luckily no chicken) in Bolivia at a little local place in the town and then just waited.... And watched.... At least we didn't have the usual torrential tropical downpour today..
Had forgotten how many vultures there are here... Lisa St Aubin de Tehran writes about her "pet" vultures in her book, Keepers of the House, about her time, I think, in Venezuela....I had always thought that this was perhaps a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of literary drama, but now I realise that vultures are very much a part of South America. I had also forgotten the delicious breakfast cakes in Brasil..... Moist plain cakes, with no icing...SO nice.! And a fantastic canned drink called Guaranį...a fruity kind of taste... And I had forgotten the awful toilets!! yuck.....
I wonder what tomorrow will bring???