11/21/22 to 12/25/22
Even after many border crossings, these are always exciting and can lead to unexpected situations. We added a new such situation to our corresponding list.
We spent a good five hours in Corumbá for customs clearance to Bolivia. When the paperwork was finally done, the inspector let us stew for about an hour in the hot, well-sunlit parking lot. She told me from afar that we could not enter Bolivia with two vehicles. I showed her on the documents in her hands that the vehicles have two different owners. Annoyed, she settled closer to the vehicles, and we noticed together that the license plate of the quad was missing. I immediately searched the ground for the fallen sign but couldn’t find it. When Gabi drove to the Supermercado in Bonito with Ernstli, she emptied all the compartments of the quad and left them open. Indecent Brazilians stole the license plate as a souvenir in broad daylight in front of the Supermercado. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice when we parked Ernstli in Globis garage that the number plate was missing. The Bolivian inspector was tough, she had found what she was looking for, a vulnerability. She refused to be talked to and rejected us. We were rejected at a national border for the first time in our lives, a completely new experience. We had to accept that. We were allowed to go through the entire procedure at both customs offices in the other direction again, we weren’t happy about it, but we weren’t entirely innocent either.
I’m definitely not a water rat. When we discovered a freshly cleaned, shady pool at a pousada with an outside temperature of around 40°C and uncomfortably high humidity, it was something very lucky even for me. It didn’t end up just discovering it, but we voluntarily wallowed in the pool, which we had to ourselves, for quite a while. I still feel lucky.
Our Portuguese isn’t lean, it’s just not there. When we visited the Lago Azul grotto, we were instructed in Portuguese about the many dangers and the course of the visit. Obviously, you could see the level of understanding on our faces. Patricia and Eduardo, a Brazilian couple from Porto Alegre who live in Luxembourg and also speak German, took care of us and explained everything to us and translated the stories. We are still in contact with the friendly couple today.
The housing structure of our Globis is bus-controlled and is operated centrally via a touchscreen – my pride and joy. The setup is really super awesome, we can monitor and control all the technology with it and we don’t need ugly switches. However, the central control point is also a central weak point. I became painfully aware of this when the touchscreen could still be touched in extreme heat, but the touch no longer triggered a reaction. The touchscreen had actually logged off. For example, we could no longer open cupboards or adjust the water pump, things that are very practical in life! Today I also realize that a tablet that has been on all the time since 2014, during our trips, will eventually get tired and stop working. Unfortunately, the insight came a little late. Benno was able to install software on our PC via remote diagnosis, with the help of which we can take over the functions of the touchscreen on the PC. We’ll be getting a new touch screen soon!
For a smile
I can only sleep peacefully if I can check what time we have at any time during the night. My travel alarm clocks often don’t withstand the rattling of the slopes for long or have batteries that are so super customized that you can only get them in special shops. Once again, my beloved alarm clock stopped working. With a lot of luck, I was able to buy a really ingenious alarm clock in a large shopping center, which also works with normal batteries. The alarm clock is so simple that I was able to set the time right away and the alarm time was set up as well at 0:00. When touched, the digits light up briefly and go out again. There is also a transport position in which all functions are switched off so that nothing can be adjusted during bumpy drives. My dream alarm clock! The first night with the new alarm clock, we both slept soundly and happily, the new alarm clock next to my head. At midnight, however, we were suddenly woken up, it was 0:00. Each alarm clock has an option to set the alarm time, but also to activate or deactivate it. I did not find this function. The function is so simple that I didn’t understand it. On one side of the alarm clock is “on” and on the other side “off”. Depending on which side is up, the alarm function is activated or not. At twenty past midnight I finally got it.
That’s too bad about not being able to cross the border. You must have caught the officer on a bad day.