Concerned about which way to enter Brazil we started asking all the Bolivians we came into contact with what the roads to Paraguay (option 1 to get to Brazil) or to the Bolivian / Brazilian border (option 2) were like. The response was that the roads were good but that the road to the Brazilian border was better than the one into Paraguay. Perfect, now we knew which road to take. We continued asking around and when we were about to leave Sucre we asked our lovely hostel owner if the road was really ok…
Si, she replied, si es transitable.
So we headed east.
The road from Sucre to Saimaipata was bad, the road from Samaipata to Santa Cruz was worse and the road from Santa Cruz to San Jose de Chiquitos …. oh lordy, it was the most excruciatingly painful road we have driven in this ENTIRE trip.
Transitable = a bone-jarring 10 hour drive to go 250 km, frustration, no gas stations, instantaneous irritability (the kind when someone talks and you immediately get angry for no apparent reason, it’s just that they have spoken…to you), thoughts of calling the whole trip off, borderline breakdown tears (me not Tom) and to top it all off we watched a semi fall over right before our eyes.
It truly was an exercise in patience as well as a huge test for us as a couple, which we passed since both of us are still living and we have decided not to go our separate ways after being trapped in the car together for probably the longest 10 hours of our married life.
For more about driving in Bolivia (and it’s awesome roads) as well as other tips about driving the Americas click here.