Saturday, 11 April 2015

Border Crossing – Porto Alegre (Brazil) to Montevideo (Uruguay)

The weirdest border crossing I ever had was this one, even the euro border crossing which was non-existence was more understandable than this one hell of a ride. The bus ride to Uruguay was not too bad and I am starting to see the awesome comfort that everyone is talking about bussing around South America. Thou good comfort comes with a price so at 190 BRL about SGD 95 for just 12 hours the bus was superbly nice with working WIFI and hot meals on board.

Crossing the border
Crossing the border however was worrisome for me as I knew the stupid tour in Iguazu f*cked up my immigration process. I had no exit and re-entry stamp when I visited the Argentina side of the Falls but I had an entry stamp from Corumba but at an earlier date. Boarding the bus at Porto Alegre I had to surrender the passport to the bus attendant (Like an Air Stewardess but on a bus) which she said she will return to me once we reached Uruguay.

It was an overnight bus and I was bewildered that I could just sleep through the border crossing but I made sure to tell her that I must get an exit stamp for Brazil and an entry stamp for Uruguay. So the bus depart and everyone went to sleep after late supper was served. The next morning as we were nearing the final destination of Montevideo she started handing back all the passport or for the locals, Identification card.
I got mine back in one piece and checking the passport sure enough I had two stamps,
Exit from Brazil (which was stamp next to the Argentina Visa entry at Iguazu hence I knew the officer was onto me.
Interesting way to cross a border …. Where they don’t even bother to see the actual person to process the passport. The bus attendant did it for everyone so at least 40 people plus per day and there would be at least 10 buses going that route and coming back another 10. You could say the border crossing was non-existence. Risky thing is that if the people make a mistake with your passport you won’t know till you are deep into the country and by then it will a day later and you are seriously in trouble.
Oh well … trust the local system and pray nothing goes wrong.


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