I was not sad to say goodbye to Pantanal. In fact, I was the first person packed, dressed, fed and ready to leave. I had had a better night sleep thankfully and my bites were looking marginally better. I had managed to gain some more at the bonfire on my hands but I wasn’t bothered by this….We were leaving TODAY! And we were heading to Bolivia – no more mosquitos! I almost danced in celebration.
We had to head back the way we came. An hour’s ride in the safari jeep and then a two hour ride in the nightmare bus *inward groan* (yes it was as bad as you imagine) to get to the Bolivian border.
The nightmare bus dropped us and our bags off just before the Brazilian border. From here we had to take our backpacks and walk. We had been to the shop for food for the night journey so not only did I have my 55l main bag, my 13l backpack and my tote bag of entertainment, I now also had a plastic bag of snacks to carry in the 33° heat across the Brazilian border and then walk to the Bolivian border. I almost sat down in rebellion then and there.
With an outward groan I donned my bags and began my sweaty trudge to the Brazilian border officials. Thankfully there wasn’t really a wait and it was a simple process of show your passport and customs document, get your stamp (yes!) and head out the exit door heading to the Bolivian border.
The walk to the Bolivian border was probably not even five minutes but it felt like I was walking through a desert and I was slowly evaporating. It was so damn hot! At the door of the Bolivian border we were told to wait outside and fill out our documentation. I could have cried, they had aircon inside!
After about a 10 minute wait I was seen by a very nice official who happily gave me my stamp and entrance document and sent me on my way before I was a puddle at her desk. Outside our guide took us to see someone to change up our Real into Bolivar ready for our trip. We then hopped into taxis heading for the train station.
At the train station we confirmed it would be a train we would be catching and that it would leave at 6pm. A 4 hour wait….Luckily our guide had a local contact where we could go for a reasonable price and use the pool, sbower, toilets, WiFi etc so we hopped back in the taxis. I was practically salivating at the word ‘shower’!
At the hotel, naturally the WiFi wasn’t working! I didn’t really care, that wasn’t what I was there for. I almost took the poor woman’s hand off when she offered out the towels and I basically sprinted to the shower whilst everyone else hit the pool.
The hotel owners were such lovely and helpful people. When they saw how bad my bites were they got me some alcohol to apply to stop them getting infected and offered a load of advice and some ice to help give me some relief. I was so grateful I would probably have moved into their service then and there. I even got a lollipop!
Before we knew it, it was time to get in the taxi and head to the train station. Feeling much fresher I felt ready for anything.
At the train station we were told to get rid of our bags (I got to keep mine – Woop for 55l!) And then we were ushered to get onto the train. I was expecting this swish, modern looking train taking hundreds of people at speed to chosen destinations. Well clearly I was living in a fantasy! It was a two carriage train, looking very much like a UK train just with more spacious seats and it trundles along at a steady pace. It is however, miles better than the nightmare bus!!!! Not sure how well I will sleep tonight but I’ll give it my best shot.