The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Traveling


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South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz
March 4th 2014
Published: March 4th 2014
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These are not necessarily in the order listed in the title, but man yesterday and today’s travel ran the list of these. When I initially booked my tickets, using my miles, I didn’t realize that I was scheduled to fly home early Wed, not late Wed. All I saw was Wednesday and I assumed it was an overnight flight. As I went online the next morning to cancel the tickets and rebook, I was given a new option that flew out of the airport closest to my home, and put me in First Class and Business First on the way down to Lima. Heck yeah. Good! Of course the flight was full, but it was comfortable enough. We hadn’t even pushed back from the gate when I felt my nose assaulted and my hair starting to singe. Someone was passing gas, and it was wicked. Shortly after takeoff it happened again, and again, and again. Honestly, I was thinking about hitting the call button to see if I could get the oxygen mask deployed so I could breathe. I know airlines will do anything for a fee, so it may have worked, but I was afraid of starting a stampede of passengers trying to avoid the noxious fumes and worried that we could run out of oxygen. Whether this falls under Bad or Ugly I am not sure, but since the word putrid rotting flesh wasn’t in the title I didn’t feel it went with the theme of today’s blog. And in case you are wondering, yes I did survive.

Since I chose to use miles, I booked the simplest route. I flew into Lima, and will fly out of Santiago. I hadn’t really done the research and had no idea that flights from Lima to La Paz are not frequent and even worse, are not convenient. Each flight left around 11 P.M., meaning I would have to stay in Lima all night and all day and even if I booked a hotel, I would have to check out by noon or so and spend the whole day without a place to crash. I already played that game on my final day in Lima last year, so I was not about to sign up for round two of it. What I finally ended up doing was booking a flight from Lima to Cuzco on LAN Airlines at 5 in the
Snow Covered AndesSnow Covered AndesSnow Covered Andes

I beat myself up last year for not having my camera in my pocket and missing these.
morning. The Lima airport is quite nice, so it wasn’t a stretch to spend the night there. The kicker was that I then had a 10:25 flight on a different airline from Cuzco to La Paz. Now that was a layover I would never want to do again. That airline’s ticket counter wasn’t open for several hours, so I sat on my suitcase in the cold, dismal entry hall while trying to stay awake. I was cold, tired, more than a little cranky and probably the worst part-I was disheveled and looked just thrashed. Yeah, it was not some of the best 4 hours of my life, but once again, I survived. If traveling was a breeze with no grime, no pushing the comfort zone, no small dramas I am not sure it would be so amazing when things work out perfectly.

All in all the flights were good - nothing cancelled, nothing delayed. And let me tell you, flying into La Paz and seeing this city built up and down the big valleys, now that fell into the amazing side of Good. Even the ride from the airport to the hotel had some spectacular views. I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing this country. Today was the last of Carnival, so virtually everything was closed. I did walk around the streets listening to the firecrackers, smelling the foods being grilled on the streets, looking at the impromptu vendor stalls set up along the street. I do need to get my Travel-game on though. I noticed that each vendor had the same bottles of water. I needed to pick some up for drinking as well as brushing my teeth, so I grabbed a couple bottles. It wasn’t until I was walking away that I stopped to read the bottle. Not water, no, this was some kind of clear alcohol and quite frankly not something I felt I should be chugging alone in the hotel. Oops! I wasn’t far from where I bought them, so I went back and using my best Spanish, I apologized and tried to explain that I really wanted water. I was able to return them, but it was a good wake up that I kind of need to pay attention a little more than I would at home.

Tomorrow is a half day walking tour of the City, so I am
Good, Bad, or Ugly?Good, Bad, or Ugly?Good, Bad, or Ugly?

Ah, who cares, I am on vacation!
hoping to have some good pictures and stories to share.

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4th March 2014

Why not brush with alcohol?
Why did you get water? Who knows what amazingly white teeth you might have had if you used what was in the bottles to brush your teeth??? :) Glad you made it safely and can't wait to hear more. Take care!!!
4th March 2014

Alcohol, yes, but what kind?
True, I could have brushed with the booze, and honestly, if I did it enough, I probably wouldn't care how my teeth looked. Thanks for the comment. My biggest goal with this blog was to let my friends know I made it safely.
5th March 2014

Safe and sound.....good news!
For us both. We are on the front page together!! We miss you already and wish you the best journey possible. We await your next missive with great anticipation. (Perhaps you were expecting baited breath, but that apparently wouldn't go over well after reading your blog!!)
5th March 2014

Thanks
I was so surprised when I saw your blog right on top of mine. I love the idea that we were sitting and blogging at the same time. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
5th March 2014

I see you are in South America
I just read and enjoyed your blog and could relate to some of your experiences. I met you on a tour out of Cusco and you emailed me some pictures because I forgot my camera. I will look forward to following your adventures
5th March 2014

Guess I have a South America Travel Bug
Hi Sue, I remember you. That was such a great tour that day. This is my travel time, so it was an easy choice to come back to South America. I am only on my first real day out and about here, but feel like I will have some great stories to share on here. Thanks for reading and commenting.
5th March 2014

Vicarious travel
As usual, your description is colorful and your photos awesome. Glad you don't transmit all the smells. Have a great trip! I follow your travels from here.
5th March 2014

Glad you are along with me
Hello Mrs. Branan. Thank you so much for your nice comments. I find that it is easy to write these blogs when I am so excited by what I have seen and, usually, smelled. I wish I could convey how the city streets smell when vendors are cooking out on the streets and food smells waft out of the restaurants. It is truly magical.
5th March 2014

Gassy..
Haha how foul! Hope the rest of your trip is sweeter smelling :)
5th March 2014

I'm glad you laughed
I wasn't sold on whether I should write about that, but decided that it is part of the travel experience. I also am certain that many of us on here can relate. I am hoping for a great trip. I can't wait to start reading your blogs soon. You must be getting super excited.
5th March 2014

We are headed to Lima and beyond on 30 April ...
and hope to avoid the Bad and the Ugly! I look forward to reading of your adventures.
5th March 2014

Have a great time on your trip
I hope you avoid the Bad and the Ugly too. Do you have your trip all planned out? Drop a PM if you have any questions.
20th March 2014

how can anyone keep emitting such noxious farts and not go to the bathroom to relieve themselves? Nice to know that even first class passengers have no class or consideration.
4th May 2014

Operation Catchup
I decide to start Operation Blog Reading Catchup in South America, get on the first flight, and I'm greeted with repeated hits of noxious gas! Definitely glad this time that you can't upload a smell to a blog entry.... Yes, travel dramas are all part of the 'package deal' - having it easy all the time would get boring!
4th May 2014

No Smell-O-Blog for us
I'm glad Smell-o-blog wasn't part of the new version. I would not want to have to suffer through that again. Well, since I plan to keep traveling, I know I will sometime, but hope it is far in the future. I hope you are enjoying the blogs.

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