Another very early morning and after joining me on the bus to San Salvador De Jujuy (pronounced HooHoy, which is something I’d expect Mr Burns to say when he answers the phone) Carlos disembarked to get on with his life. I, meanwhile, trooped on to the border with Bolivia.
The queue to get across the border was eye watering. There must have been at least 700 people in the queue and ONE, yes ONE, guy with the rubber exit stamp. Okay – so I pushed in. Don’t blame me – this is for charity! At least that’s my excuse. But somewhere in the back of my mind is an unshakable belief that queuing is for chumps.
An Argentine girl got a little ratty with me, so I pretended (somewhat unconvincingly) to be Russian. While waiting for my Bolivian entry stamp, I got chatting with a guy from England who asked me if I had been to Bolivia before. Err, yeah – as it happens – how did he know? Then he tapped his girlfriend on the shoulder and said this is the guy off that YouTube video!
Way to go, YouTube! I’ll be a minor celebrity yet!!
Once in Bolivia, I rapidly learnt that the train to Oruro was completely sold out and that my only choice was to bus it.
Oh sweet Jesus, no.
As nightmare coach journeys go, this one was a corker. A bus held together with sellotape. An unsealed road. The frickin’ ANDES. Windows that don’t shut. Overnight.