After the visa delays at the Uruguayan Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, I finally decided to push through moving to Uruguay. Most of you ask how does it feel to travel the whole continent by bus and I honestly don’t know how to answer this question. As time passed by, 30 hours sitting on a bus doesn’t feel a thing anymore. I just focus on the present and never rush on arriving. The most important thing for me was to enjoy the moment and go with the flow.
Day 1: Sao Paulo to Foz (Brazil)
Day 2: Visit to the Iguazu Falls
Day 3: Foz to Porto Alegre (Brazil)
I was literally dragging my backpack the whole time because it’s too full. Most people I ran into can’t believe how I can carry such thing! I bought my ticket to Porto Alegre at an agency in the city center of Foz via phone and they delivered it to the hostel am I staying in. I paid R$156.33 (U$D62.76) which is not really bad because it’s a semi-bed bus. Originally, the trip should only take 10 hours but it took us almost 19 hours to arrive. There were a lot of stops along the way because of police hopping for inspection. Apparently, there were a lot of “trafficking” happening between these two cities.
I arrived the city of Porto Alegre with hunger and a server backpain but Solar63 Hostel gave me a warm welcome. This hostel is a beauty! I also got to the chance to have a long but good conversation with the owner Paulo, who used to be a long-term traveler before he started the business.
Day 4: Porto Alegre to Montevideo, Uruguay
The final 12 hours. Yessss! I took the night bus at 22:00 and paid U$D72 for it not knowing that food is included. Really good service. When I boarded the bus, I forgot that all the passengers had to surrender their passports before boarding and I panicked! I was looking for my passport and bothered almost everyone on the row but the lady sitting beside me said “it’s with the stewardess.” Oh my God! I almost cried! The system was simple: we didn’t have to go down to the border immigration to get our passports stamped. The bus company will take care of it.
I slept as soon as the bus started to move but the stewardess woke me up saying that the immigration need to talk to me. What?! What did I do this time? So, I went down with her to the deserted office at the border only to find out that I need to pay almost $800 for overstaying in Brazil. What the hell do you mean with “overstaying”?! I arrived in June and it hasn’t even been 90 days yet. And I don’t have that money to be honest! He then explained to me that when I passed the border of Bolivia and Brazil, they only gave me 30 days of stay so apparently, I am overstaying even if Filipinos are allowed 90 days maximum. I started speaking in Spanish rapidly (I was surprised) and told him that they didn’t explain this at the border. $800?! Are you kidding me! I asked if I have to pay this now and he said no (allelloooo!) but I am only allowed to stay 10 days the next time I visit the country. Okay, win-win.