The Only Way Out

May 6, 2006
Day 220

Our agreed upon destination for the day was Pozo Colorado, a few hours northwest of Concepción. The reason for going there was to get an exit stamp on our passports. There is no immigration at the border with Bolivia, and although there is a city called Filidelphia closer to the border, nobody we talked to seemed sure if it had any immigration.

The bus ride was long and boring. The entire way was down gravel roads barely as wide as the bus itself. We saw a fair amount of wildlife, but almost no signs of civilization. Our bus' fuel line broke down every three hours or so, but it seemed to be a pretty easy fix of pumping fuel back into it by hand. The good news with the trip was that there weren't many people on the bus, so I had a lot of space for my legs, I read half of my book on the way, and I managed to get through the day without any further episodes of vomiting.

When we got dropped off at Pozo Colorado at 11:00 PM, our initial intention was to get our exit stamps in the morning and head up to Filidelphia to chill out for a few days. However, some military police at the checkpoint we were dropped off at informed us that there in fact was no immigration in Pozo Colorado. On top of that, there wouldn't be any way to leave town tomorrow because it's Sunday. It's tough to find good information about such things from other cities, so sometimes you just have to go to your destination and get the scoop when you get there.

We got lucky when talking to the cops as the last bus on its way to Bolivia pulled up to the checkpoint. Its destination was Santa Cruz, which is where we wanted to end up, but it would take twenty more hours to get there. Still, this seemed to be the only way to get an exit stamp because the bus would stop at some remote immigration point along the way. It seemed that our only choice was to get on the bus and wait it out.

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