A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crossing Into Bolivia

A midnight bus journey from Salta took me to the Bolivian border. I traveled with a handful of other backpackers from Salta and we arrived at the border in the dark hour of 6 am and proceded to backpack-it a mile to the border where we quickly learned that on sundays the Argentinian border doesn´t open until 7. An hour of waiting and shivering ensued.

When the border finally opened, I received my exit stamp and tramped over the bridge to the Bolivian border town of Villizon. Here waited a new discovery - Bolivia is an hour behind Argentina. Despite being directly north of Argentina. The waiting commenced again, but this time, my toes were beginning to freeze.

8am arrived, or 7am really, but another surprise happened - the electricity didn´t come on in the border official´s office. Another wait. But by this point, my feet were sliding toward frostbite, so I did what I had to do - I approached the military guarding the border. After a few minutes, I managed to talk my way into entering Bolivia in order to buy thermal socks, with the promise I would return the line when I had found them.

So, illegally, I wandered into the bordertown of Villazon and began a freeze-induced scramble to find warm socks at 7am before the military got wise and came to find me. I managed to find a pair of thermal socks and some warm bread within a halfhour and, true to my word, returned back to the bridge in noman´s land between Argentina and Bolivia.

Soon enough, customs opened and the official began processing the passports by hand and by 8am I was free and clear in Bolivia.

2 Comments:

  • At 8:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Let's see...warm feet and Bolivian jail vs. cold feet...hmmm...I think I'd wrap my toes in a t-shirt...

    Dad

     
  • At 5:24 AM , Anonymous Jamie said...

    Sweet goodness.... I began to read faster and faster as I PRAYED you did not get caught! LOL Hey are you a writer? I found myself compelled to keep reading :)

     

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