Villamonte, Bolivia

The normal way of going to Asuncion in Paraguay involves taking a 16-hour of bus north to Santa Cruz, the biggest city and the main junction for transportation in Bolivia; then from Santa Cruz taking another 20 hours bus down south to Paraguay.  In order to minimize the extended bus hours, we decided to take a direct bus to Camiri.  Then try to catch any bus/car/transportation that goes out on the new road going from Camiri to Villamonte – the border Bolivian town for Paraguay and Argentina.  From Villamonte, we will try to catch any passing by bus from Santa Cruz to Asuncion since all of them have to pass this border town before reaching Paraguay.

We were not so lucky, after some search we found that the buses from Santa Cruz were full.  The next bus leaves at 2am the day after tomorrow.  So we tried to hitchhike.  After waiting for 4 hours, we decided that it is not the best idea to hitch sincehike it doesn’t seemed that anyone is going to Paraguay.  So we walked to the back of the bus station and booked a hotel for the night.  By then I found the owner of the hotel tried to overcharge us for her little room and Pavel happily took it.  When I asked if we could try to negotiate a better price Pavel told me, “don’t tell me what to do, I have lived in Africa for three years and I know what I’m doing.”  By then I got fed up with his arrogance so I decided to go back to the bus station and wait out any bus to Asuncion.

He came a couple times trying to get me back to the hotel.  I heard there is actually one more seat on the bus so I decided to wait for the bus to check and see.  As the night gets later, I went to the hotel to check him up.  When he opened the door, a smoky air came out – he smoked a lot – then his teary face appeared from the smoke.  I freaked out a bit, which gave me a step back, he extended his arm, grabbed my arm and dragged me inside. “I thought you left.”He looked very sad but very happy at the same time.

“I was just gonna rest a bit here.” I told him, “I heard there is a seat tonight, I’m going to try to check it out.”

“When I asked for seats, I asked for two, and they told me there were no seats.”  He said.

“Ok, I will try to check with the bus driver tonight.  You can come if you want.”

“Look, if we split here.  I don’t want to think about meet somewhere up again.”

“well, you never know.  If there is a seat there tonight, I’d want to take it and I could wait for you in Asuncion.”

There was no seat that night, and Pavel was very happy about that.  We ran out of money the next day.  Since none of the ATMs in town was working, Pavel had to exchange some of his Argentinian pesos for bolivianos, and we barely managed to pass the next day before boarding on the bus getting out of Bolivia.

From Villamonte, Bolivia, posted by Jenny Zheng on 8/01/2012 (23 items)

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