Monday, 5 November 2007

La Quiaca, The Final Frontier






It´s difficult to say anything positive about this most northerly border town of La Quiaca or its Bolivian neighbouring town of Villazón (10 minutes walk across the border) , in fact the term ´areshole in the middle of nowhere´comes to mind for both of them.

La Quiaca has practically no commercial enterprise, except for hotels, since everybody just takes the 10 minute walk across the border to Bolivia because its significantly cheaper.

The situation reminds me of a previous trip to Ciudad del Este on the border of Paraguay and Argentina and Brazil where you cross the border on a regular local bus. Some guy hopped on and gave everyone on the bus a carton of 200 cigarettes. The customs guy hops on and checks that nobody is bring anything dodgy or over the allowance. In this instance he happened to pick on my brother Ian´s back pack and poked it with a big knife as he said ´open it. Unfortunately for the boder guard Ians dirty laundry was on top and a waft of sweaty socks that would make a grown man cry, filled the bus. The guard simultaneously shouted ´CLOSE IT, CLOSE IT!´as he made a hasty exit stage left off the bus. As soon as he left the guy collected his cigarettes off everyone and was on his merry way.

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