An Amazonian Adventure

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We woke up and packed up our bags for the last time in Cusco, Peru we would be coming back to but this little picture postcard city we wouldn't – and I would be so sorry to be leaving behind the All Day Breakfast in Paddy Flaherty’s. We said our goodbye’s to the Jacaranda staff (including Julio – the hostel version of Ant’ney in the Royle Family) and flagged down a taxi to the airport.  Funnily enough a lot of the taxi’s here are tiny Fiat Panda’s not exactly the most spacious vehicle especially when we have two full to bursting ruck sacks and two full to bursting day sacks along with two over nourished Gringo’s.  The driver ended up with one ruck sack on the passenger seat and the other wedged next to it – god only knows how he changed gear.

We arrived at the airport in next to no time and checked our bags in at the Aerosur desk, there was no scanning machine for our bags we were just shown to a table where a man asked us a couple of questions – the usual have you packed this bag, do you have any aerosols in there, and then we were free to go.  We thought it was a bit un-thorough until we got to security where our bags were almost ripped apart by an overzealous woman when we told her we were on the Bolivia flight.  Fortunately the check stopped short of a full cavity search and we didn’t get to hear the terrifying sound of a latex glove snap against her wrist. 

The flight was uneventful apart from a massive loss height at one point which resulted in one stewardess falling over and the stewardess doing the voice over unable to speak as she was laughing so much – both Andrew and I had our stomachs in our mouths.  The view from the plane however was spectacular – we got a fantastic aerial view of the vastness of Lake Titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world).  It really made us appreciate just how huge it is (it used to be a huge inland sea before a massive shift in the Earth’s tectonic plates created the Andes and essentially land locked it).

We arrived in La Paz and headed straight for the Amaszonas desk to book our flight straight to Rurrenabaque – what we hadn’t banked on was that both flights would be full.  The next flight available was at 4.30pm tomorrow.  The only other tour operator that flew was TAM but they didn’t have a flight today only tomorrow.  Basically our well thought out plan was falling down around us. The advice that we had taken was to book in the airport when we arrived "it is low season" they said “lots of seats available” – WRONG.  We had given ourselves 6 days allowing for possible delays (which are inevitable) which now had been cut to five with us wanting to do a Pampas tour (3 days) and a Jungle tour (2 days) which would be really cutting it fine.  Ah well there was nothing we could do and considering our luck with flights lately it was to be expected.

Speaking of which we tried to get our return flight to Cusco rescheduled which we had been told by  the ever so helpful (hmmm) woman in Cusco that we could do in La Paz airport (as we hadn’t planned to be leaving) – WRONG.  We had to go to the Aerosur offices in La Paz city so we got a taxi straight there so we could then book our return flight from Rurrenabaque accordingly.  We got to the offices within the Radisson Hotel (very swish) and they were closed – for the next three hours.  This was turning out to be a bit of a nightmare.  We got back in the same taxi and went back to the hostel that we had stayed in last time only they had no rooms available with good WIFI so we were taken across the street to their sister hostel where we got a room with some of the best WIFI that we have had on the trip – so much so I had the first uninterrupted Skype call to my mum and dad in ten months (it was their anniversary too so it was the daughterly thing to do)

Our next stop was to Kanoo, the tour company who we had booked The World’s Most Dangerous Road trip with to book some flights to Rurrenabaque for the next day.  There were only three seats left on the 4.30pm flight so we quickly booked them before our hopes of going to Rurrenabaque at all disappeared and got a taxi back to the Aerosur office to sort out the cancelled flight.  We got a lovely girl called Nataly who sorted everything out for us and changed the flight to take us directly to Lima instead of back to Cusco – therefore we would be able to catch all of our adjoining flights and have a day to see Lima.

Felling a lot better about our plans we went back to Kanoo to book their Pampas trip for 40 pounds each and to collect our flight tickets to Rurrenabaque.  This was all fine and we decided to go with a company called Indigena as we could have a 'matrimonial’ room – basically not a dorm.  No other companies offer this we were told.  All good.  We were just ordering a pizza when Andrew read through the flight tickets and realised that my last name was put down as my middle name.  As it was a domestic flight I didn’t know whether it would matter that much but to be on the safe side I went back to find out.  Forty five minutes and three phone calls to the airline later I was still in there trying to sort things out – the problem was if the ticket was voided and then reissued there was the chance that the seat would be lost and Andrew would be going to the jungle on his own.  By this stage the shutters were down and I was locked in – I didn’t know that Andrew hadn’t gone back to the hostel and was stuck on the other side of the shutter pizza in hand getting a little frustrated.

In the end they just told me that I may be fined at the airport and if that happened they would refund my money.  It was getting late so we left it at that and watched Samson and Delilah, a story about a couple of Aborigines – it left us a little depressed.  We then found a message from Rorie and Emer on Skype (they must have a posher version than us) saying that they couldn’t wait to smash the place up with us when we got home.  It was lovely to hear from them but I must remember to hide the Ming vase before they arrive!  Only joking guys canīt wait to see you both!
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