”You’ve been in Bolivia too long!” This is what two Americans said to us at the border to Brazil after I’d explained how much I liked La Paz. They mentioned they did not feel safe there at all. Perceived safety changes with familiarity and knowledge about the area.
The only knowledge we had about Brazil apart from the amazing things that attracted us to visit in the first place; was the the problems. In the lead up to the Olympics the world was focused on Brazil. Much if it had been negative mentioning the lack of money for police and firemen. The reputation of crime in the country made us more paranoid as well.
Border towns are already reputed to be hives for criminal activities, black markets and choke points for smugglers. However, the only thing eventful that happened at the boarder was a toucan flying over the river.
On the Bolivian side of the river there was a large queue and some folks selling pastel (deep fried cheese empanadas). After the immigration official checked the entry slip we received when entering last we were though faster than many Bolivians; as nationals had to pay a tax before leaving.
We passed over the bridge to Brazil.
On the Brazilian side we walked down the road to find a bus stop. It cost about 4 reals for a ticket to the center of Corumba.
It was a walk to the hostel and our first try at speaking to the locals. Our below par Portuguese skills managed to land us some saldagos.
We stayed in the Road riders hostel, it was a reasonable price it had nice sized rooms and was quite modern. This was filled with the usual group of young hipsters talking about their latest parent funded trips, quickly avoiding having to listen to another story about traveling it was time to rest after a long trip.