08. Feb, 2010

Rio de Janeiro by Bus

Rio de Janeiro by Bus

Arriving at immigration at 11am, the immigration office was closed until 2pm. The next bus to leave was 3pm to Campo Grande, but I doubt I would make that bus. The line for immigration, once open, was hours long.

Finally, 2pm came and immigration opened. Five hours after arriving in Corumbá, I was processed and legally in Brazil. What I was finding out, was that Brazil was full of bureaucracy, and was a country that was going to be very expensive also. A bus ride to Camp Grande was 70 reales. 270 reales to Rio de Janeiro. If you get and exchange rate of 1.9 reales to a dollar, you are doing very very good! So you do the math!

I have just travel half way across the continent, from Lima to Brazil for about $50USD. Now it cost me 3 times that to travel across a small part of Brazil. Not even half the distance I had already covered. Food was also very expensive. Doing simple comparison, it seemed like Brazil was about 7 times more expensive than Bolivia.

The weather was a nice 37C. A wonderful change from being atop Huayna Potosi at -15C. But was it worth it for the astronomically price increase? I guess only time will tell.

Another 6 hours went by after arriving in Corumba, and we were boarding our bus to Campo Grande. I’ll give Brazil one thing; their buses are very nice! First class! And better than I have ever seen in any of the America’s, including the USA. Maybe that was why the price was so high. Anyways, we boarded the bus at 5pm, and were to arrive in Campo Grande a little after midnight.

Eventually we arrived in Campo Grande at 1am. The bus terminal here was first class also! The nicest and cleanest I have ever seen. It reminded me of the JFK terminal in NYC when it was new.

I couldn’t sleep all night, so I stayed up all night and people watched while charging my laptop and listening to my iPod Shuffle.

Around 8am the ticket counters started to open, and it was time to get an idea of the price and how long it would take to get to where. Pricing in Brazil was about 7 fold what it has been so far. I’ll be going broke really fast. One bus ticket to Rio was 230 reales and it was another 24 hours ride. With no choice, I got the ticket and set about waiting a few more hours till the bus was ready to leave at noon.

The trip was uneventful, but first class, and we made many stops along the way for food. No street food here. We always stopped at buffets and convent stores within Brazil. Soon, I hope, I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro.