An Act of Kindness (day3+4): Going Downtown Corumbá

These are days 3 and 4 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. We are camped in the harbor of Corumbá, on the Brazilian border.

Day 3

We have a problem: Yesterday Coen replaced the Land Cruiser’s oil but now the filter is leaking. When he takes it apart it becomes clear that there are a couple of punctures due to rust. He needs epoxy glue to fix it and chats with a couple of boatmen to find out where he can buy it.

Corumbá borders the Río Paraguay, a river that is highly popular for sport fishing trips. We are frequently approached by guys who offer day trips in small, maybe four-person boats. Next to where we camp lie the big boats for multiple-day trips; cruisers you could say, but simpler versions. These are for large groups and the boatmen don’t have to hustle for passengers as the trips are generally booked through an agency.

Some of the boatmen are cleaning their boat, others are sitting together in the shade of a tree, waiting for the heat to abate. Coen explains to them what he is looking for. “If you can wait for an hour, I will take you there. I have to go downtown myself,” one of them offers.

Although downtown Corumbá isn’t far in distance and in fact it is quite a nice walk, it is uphill and it is incredibly hot to walk (obviously Coen can’t drive the Land cruiser anymore without the air filter). Just standing outside the shady area of the tree underneath which we are camping, is enough to break out in a serious sweat.

In this heat the ride is a much-appreciated luxury and by the end of the afternoon all is again as it should be.

We have enjoyed strolling around Corumbá during our previous visits.

Day 4

No special act of kindness noted during our border crossing into Bolivia.

To learn why I write about acts of kindness by a stranger, please read this post.

Travel Guides for Brazil

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Photos by Coen Wubbels. Follow our overland journey on or on Instagram.

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