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Published: June 27th 2009
Crossed from Brazil into Bolivia to take the famous "Death Train" - nobody really knows how it got the name, but it's not dangerous so it wasn't because of that. Originally booked our tickets through an agent in Corumba (on the Brazilian side of the border) but when we went to collect them it seems he couldn't be arsed to get up in the morning to cross into Bolivia to buy the tickets - ****ing monkey !!! got our money back and went over the border anyway. Couldn't buy tickets for the Sunday train, but could get them for Monday - so no big deal, except Quijarro (town on Bolivian side) looks pretty rough. As it turned out there is a great new hostel there, so we had an afternoon by the pool getting some sun. That evening we went out to a local place for dinner, which was pretty good quality and incredibly cheap - quarter of a chicken with all the trimmings for b$15, ~US$2 !!! The train was scheduled to leave at 12h30, which came and went with no sign of any activity, we actually left a bit past 13h00. At the first stop we were assaulted by
an incredible noise as dozens of vendors got on selling pasties, chicken and chips, steak and chips, drinks, fruits, cakes and all sorts of other stuff - the same thing happened at every stop until about 20h that night, the only way you would ever go hungry or thirsty would be if you didn't have any small money, getting change from them was not easy, the boy who sold us our chicken dinner that night took my b$20 and legged it before I could ask for change !!! The following morning the whole show was repeated with coffee, hot chocolate, pastries etc, great system. Arrived in Santa Cruz after a journey of 20 hours !! the distance is only just over 600km so the average speed is about 30km/h !!!!! Bolivia is not a country for those in a hurry. We really enjoyed it though, like so many other things we've done in the last month it's been a once in a lifetime experience.
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