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  #1  
Old 11 May 2005
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Bolivia to Brazil - from Santa Cruz

Hi all,
I am in Santa Cruz and have been looking at my map. I am tempted to cross into Brazil (I have ruled out going to Paraguy across the chaco !). It seems there are two routes. The old one that follows the railway, which I think i have heard somewhere is a horror show, and one that runs further north and i think is partly paved, but the rest is bad ?. Not sure.

Any one done either of these, and if so what are the roads like, how long , places to stay etc etc. I am on my own and do not have too much time.

Thanks

Dave


Thanks for the help

[This message has been edited by mcluretaylor (edited 11 May 2005).]

[This message has been edited by mcluretaylor (edited 11 May 2005).]
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  #2  
Old 11 May 2005
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David,
i just spend 4 fabulous days with a Brasilian friend in Curitiba who I met while waiting for parts in Chile.
We spoke of these routes and I am going to try to remember them correctly.

The first was along the rail toute. This is a trail besides/on the rail line. Not passable to cars, sometimes to high clearance trucks. 600km if I recall correctly, was told it is possible to put it on the train. The road is paved in Brasil, 1500km to Curitiba, also IIRC.

The other one more north, was told to me as a high area of drug traffiking, and best avoided.

Kinda washy info, but maybe helpful to you.
Rene
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  #3  
Old 11 May 2005
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The received wisdom seems to be that the railroad route is do-able in the dry but a muddy pig if it rains. I guess that's true about pretty much everywhere, though.
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  #4  
Old 12 May 2005
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Thanks Dan and Rene,
Good info. I just found out the road south from Santa Cruz to the Argentine border is newly paved.

Having ridden so much dirt over the past 9 months you would think I wouldn´t care, but I do ! I am tired and emotional, so its either the train east or south to Argy !

Mucho gracias, suerte
Dave
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  #5  
Old 12 May 2005
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I can't remember how it connects up, and don't know about the Bolivian side, but I was in Corumba in the Brazilian Pantanal last year (its a must visit in Brazil), which is near the Bolivian border. Anyway I can tell you that the Brazilian side is paved all the way.

Boa Sorte

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  #6  
Old 12 May 2005
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Dave,

read this thread

hope it gives you some ideas and encouragement,

Grant
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  #7  
Old 12 May 2005
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For what it's worth, i can confirm that the road from Santa Cruz to the Argentine border IS paved. Though I argued for ooh ages with Norton Jeff that it wasn't.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 12 May 2005
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Thanks Grant for the "lift". I was doing pretty well and carefree but troubles at home have brought on my "conditioned responses". Need to ship out for a bit.

Dan, i swore blind to the police and tourist information that the road was not paved !! They convinced me it was but the Footprint guide says there are no bridges. Is that true ? I guess no problem now as its not wet season.

Thanks all
Dave
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  #9  
Old 19 May 2005
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You've probably moved on by now, but we did the so called "Death Train" from Santa Cruz to the Brasil border back in 2000, when we were travelling 2 up on an R80GS. Bike gets loaded on the freight bit (our R80GS shared it with 2 coffins . . . . ) Can take a while to get the bike unloaded on arrival as there are loads of drugs checks and there are police who check train for drugs en route. Getting out of Bolivia was easy; getting into Brasil was a bit of a pain coz of huge queues at immigration with Bolivians wanting to wrok in Brasil . . .

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Old 19 May 2005
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Blimey.. I did that train ride as a civilian.. no bike... back in 1986. Overnight on a boxcar with 100 or so locals. Caught the world's worst cold, freezing and sniffling and feverish... neverending... and now I hear it's called the "Death Train"...

*gulp*!
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  #11  
Old 21 May 2005
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I did the Corumba - Sta Cruz (via San Ignacio de Velasco) as well in 1986, on a XT500.Took me 3 weeks (plus a broken wrist) to get to Holy Cross.
Did it the other way around last week (in a Landcruiser though...) and there is a real road now! not just the tracks which the car-thiefs had cut through the jungle... And they are even busy paving the road!
From about San Jose de Chiquitos to halfway Robore there is already a beautuful wide asphalt road but it will surely take some more years to complete the whole stretch.
Bit sandy for the rest and deep guts and holes thanks to the many trucks which traffic it nowadays. But the then worst part, from Sta Ana to Prto Suarez which was pure clay ( I was lucky to hit rain then..)is now a good and wide gravel road.
From Brazil it is indeed all asphalt.

The other route, which is a lot easier is from San Ignacio de Velasco to San Mattias. Is all 'carretera' and in good condition (april2005). But not advisable in rain as some parts are clay.

Marcel

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Old 24 May 2005
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Hi, has anybody taken the train lately with bikes? I am not sure if I am happy to ride this stretch?

THanks
Martin
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  #13  
Old 26 May 2005
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Ah hah ! Marcel, i met you recently in Copacabana square. I was looking at your Landcruiser and I told you about my bike.
Glad to see your on the HUBB.

Safe travels
Dave
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  #14  
Old 27 May 2005
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In August 2003 I took the train,after the advice of Arno and Sian who did the road before me. I cross the border in Corumba to Bolivia with no problem and took the train to Santa Cruz. I paid 300 Boliviaros for the moto, 150 for me and about 200 to the guys for loading unloading etc. (I don’t know if I paid too much and if I was ripped off) The cost of the motorcycle depends on the weight (325kg for my BMW) so go there with almost empty tank, take some heavy things off and maybe later you can put them back into your panniers, but anyway few kgs less will not make much different. Before you put the moto on the train take off the mirrors, the windshield, and things that might brake because they put things on the motorcycle. The difficult part was to put the bike to weight it, and when I unload it in Santa Cruz. That was a nightmare that I do not want to go thru again. There is cheaper ticket for you but the wagon is more uncomfortable. The trip was not bad and sometimes interesting as we were passing from small villages that maybe the main even of the day was the passing of the train. At one point we stopped, and we noticed that our wagon was disconnected from the main train and we had to wait for it to come back and collect us .
Antonis
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  #15  
Old 27 Jun 2005
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Thanks Dave, yes indeed Copacabana it was. Hope you got out of Bolivia in time before the trouble started there!
Buen viaje for you too,

sunny greetings from lovely Brasil,

Marcel


www.pousadaolandes.com


[This message has been edited by marker (edited 05 July 2005).]
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