Friday, 11 September 2009

The Death Train, 1-2 September 2009

So i have made it with ease to Bolivia and have managed to get straight on to this evening{s Death Train to Santa Cruz. Awesome. Firstly I think I shall explain why the train is called the Death Train!

The scaremongers would have you believe that the train is thus titled because it is notorious for accidents and so deaths. But when you dig deeper there are two more likely reasons it is known as the Death Train. 1, it travels deathly slow and 2, the train was used in olden days to transport those dying from Yellow Fever to an isolated and remote retreat - here{s hoping they{ve given it a good clean since then.

As it goes there are 3 trains that run this line, 2 of which are not the ACTUAL death train, the train I am getting is the REAL DEATH TRAIN.

The last train I was on was the sleeper from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Except for the screaming child across from me it was a very pleasant exaperience. It is a world away from the train I have just boarded.

My seat is upright like on a plane or bus, but it does recline a little bit.

My bag is locked to the overhead storage compartment. A kind Boliviano helped me lift it up to the rack. Incidentally, my bag is the lightest it has been in a long time since Laura took home a load of my gear!

I am surrounded by fat Boliviano women. And I mean fat! There i was thinking Big Girls was the soundtrack to BRazil, it may become the soundtrack to Bolivia also.

I spent the last 22 hours on a bus, now i have 15 hours on a train. I tell you, traveling is not easy!

I{m actually quite comfy. But the music video with non stop kareoke is not to my liking. The songs are top quality, the one at the moment is called 'There are many reasons why I love you' - Latin American pop songs are pretty easy to understand!

A few hours in...

It{s a bit bumpy. Not too bad, it seems I have 2 seats to myself. SCORE! I{m reading a really bad mystery bok. It{s interspersed with recipes. It{s bad.

A few more hours in...

It{s quite comfy on here as I can sleep over the two seats. Love it.


I{ve just been woken awake. Someone is sitting in the seat next to me now. Grrr.


Despite having to surrender my extra seat I have slept quite well. I used my back pack to lean on and was quite comfy. We are going really slow now. Deathly slow. There is a singer on the telly called Vincente Fernandez. He has a moustache and a cowboy hat. Oh dear, what a wake up!

8.30am, Watching out the window

It looks beautiful. Gorgous in fact. I see blue sky and greenery! It{s lush. It{s not what I expected. And... it{s hot. No one told me Bolivia was hot. Everyone told me it was cold. Oh well, nice suprise. I can{t wait to get off the train its too hot.

What next?

Should I get straight on another night bus and go straight to Sucre? There isn{t a great deal about Santa Cruz in the LP. Or should I stay a night in Santa Cruz and make the most of a bed and shower? Hmm... Three consecutive nights on public transport. Can I face another night on another bus?

Arrival in Santa Cruz...

The train pulled into Santa Cruz at 9.30. I was roasting in my boots and llong sleeve t'shirt. I decided I would spend a night in Santa Cruz before heading onwards to Sucre. I bought my ticket for Sucre at the bus station before I left the station. Bish, bash, bosh. 17 hours journey for 5 pounds! I like this country already!

I managed to jump straight on a Micro when I came out of the bus station and for 5pence I made my way to the city centre. The micro driver even shouted to me when to get off. Love him.

I managed to get my bearings quite quickly and I was on my way to a hostel recommended by the LP (soemthing I havent done for a long time) which claims to have a pet toucan in the garden.

At the hostel

First up, no toucan in sight yet. Second up, my boots smell horrific. Third up, the shower was hot and lovely! Fourth up, I{m wearing a dress, leggings and flip flops.

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