Thursday 28th August 2014:
This morning arrived at the border just after 8am to join the queue for a Bolivian entry stamp. The queue wound like a lazy snake around the sun backed corner of the border office. We took our place at the end of the winding array of travellers, locals and wafan strays. It was a long hot wait in the beating sun, and further complicated by Anglo-Spanish discussions in the border office. But eventually, 3 hours later at around 11:30 we were free to enter Bolivia 🙂
Bolivia is a sudden change from Brazil. The prices dropped just as dramatically as the tarmac road ended, and dirt roads began,dust rising from the tail-ends of scooters and trucks. Green leafy trees caked with brown dusty fringes line the earthy roads. Snack shops with plastic chairs rest on laid back corners. Tent clad stalls sell multicoloured goods of fruits, vegetables and local sweets. Weathered faces bare crinkly bright smiles as I pass, and children run, laughing and playing across my path. Dogs limp, swagger and sway through the heat.
We got on the train to Santa Cruz at 2pm, it will arrive at 7:30am tomorrow. it cost the equivalent of about 8 British pounds for the 18 and a half hour journey.
I loved the train!! We sat snuggled up in our seats. The carriage filled up with smiling Bolivians, all shaking Elikems hand and talking to him excitedly in Spanish. I drink coffee offered by the train attendant who offers the sweet thick concoction from a giant thermos flask resembling a petrol tankard.
Small makeshift homes lines the tracks as we chug along, with patchwork tin roofs and little wooden fences enclosing chicken filled front gardens. Shorts, t-shirts, pants and sheets hang like upturned rainbows above the rickety garden fences. Children play in the amber sunlight.
Tonight we ate dinner in the adjoining carriage to ours. I was really excited to have dinner on the train!
I feel exited and happy to be here. I am thankful for crossing the border into Bolivia today! 🙂