I’m out of Bolivia and into Brazil.
Bolivia made up to me in the end for the horrendous roads North of Sucre. But it wasn’t without some considerable worry on one particular day.
I left Santa Cruz heading east for the 600km road heading for the border. All was going swimmingly as I got onto said road and the sign informed me that this was the new expressway between Bolivia and Brazil. I happily started cycling along a concrete road that was more akin to an aircraft landing strip than a road. But I was not complaining after previous Bolivian roads and I had a light tail wind. Day one ended with no accommodation on offer but a roadside restaurant said that I could camp out the back. So that’s what I did.
The next day, complete with light tail wind I happily cycled Eastwards on my concrete road devoid of virtually any traffic except myself and the occasional truck. In fact there was so little traffic that I really started feeling a little lonely. Just forest on either side and hot at 32 Degrees C. In a bit of a daze due to the heat and boredom of it all I suddenly came across a sign that said that the seal was ending in 500m! I just couldn’t believe it!!!!!
There was a barrier across the road and the workmen said no road for 40kms!!! My new road had not been completed yet. They said “deviation”. I said “No f… way”!
|New Seal on my Landing Strip.|
So they relented and let me ride on the dirt of the new Expressway (yet to be completed). For 30kms I road on the dirt. However because they were working on it and had diverted all the other vehicles another way it was quite smooth and to my relief I could still make 20km/hr. After 30kms I came across a work gang sealing it. They offered me water which was really needed as there were no towns or other forms of civilisation along this road. I then road 10kms on sticky seal which was only marginally better than the dirt and then low and behold I came across the concrete machines laying the new concrete landing strip!! And I was on it. The workmen all gave me the thumbs up and I was the first vehicle using the Bolivian – Brazil expressway. Some politician will probably open it this season but I’ve already muddy tyred it!
The following days were all the same. Forest and concrete expressway with virtually no traffic. In the evenings I made the odd small town along route and got dinner and usually a room in a cheap Hotel.
|A Concrete Road to Brazil. All For Me!|
The only really odd thing I must mention, and research when I get home, were the religious farmers I encounted along this route. They looked like a cross between the Brethren and Amish farmers. They were of European decent and dare I say it looked somewhat inbred. Certainly totally different from the Bolivians. Frontier farming families. They even drove horse and carts although plenty of them turned up in utes at the roadside restaurants so they certainly were’nt against the auto.
Very strange and more than a bit creepy.
Today I reached the border with Brazil and passed through without trouble.
|Not a Great Picture. But it's Brazil.|
I’ve found a Hotel in the border town of Corumba. The difference is immense with the town having sealed streets and shops! There’s even supermarkets! Unfortunately you can’t have everything and things are now more expensive with a can of coke actually costing $1.60NZ . I could buy 2litres of coke for that in Bolivia and they’d throw in a packet of biscuits. But then tonight for dinner I actually had beef instead of chicken and rice from a roadside stall!
Some things though are still too hard. I need a map of the road to Rio De Janiero. This is a fare size town and so far no joy. Tourist office? What Tourist Office.
Book Shop?” No. This is a book shop we don’t have maps”!