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2 - Onward to Peru

COLOMBIA | Monday, 4 December 2017 | Views [138]

Onward to Peru

Chapter 2

	The trip to the airport was filled with further bumbles as I opted to take the bus.  I had forgotten that you need to have a plastic card first so that you can charge it up with cash.  Bought the card and enough credit to get to the airport. After being redirected several times I made it to the initial bus.  These are really long double jointed buses which fill very quickly once the doors open.  Needless to say I was left standing for the trip...even though there are special seats for seniors. Granted I don't really look like a senior...but after the rough nights' sleep I could have used a seat.  One really cute thing that happened in one of the tunnels going to the bus concerned a three year old girl.  She was a cute as could be and hanging on her mothers arm. As we neared each other the little girl must have had an itch because she grabbed her pants and pulled them down in back.  Just like the girl in the Coppertone sun tan oil ad...sans dog.  Her mom had a huge embarrassed (no pun intended of course) grin and I did as well.  One of those moments which are so small yet so precious. Transferred to the airport bus and got through security with no problems and went to wait a couple hours before the flight.   This was intentional as I really needed to keep up the journal so I made a little forced time to work.  
	One of the big problems of keeping a journal when you travel is making time to do so.  There you are in some other country or location wanting to experience the total picture...and you have to do homework!  Case in point..it has taken me a week to get around to writing this se.gment.  I know this sad story must touch you deeply so enough about my woes and on to Peru.
	My buddy Alvaro found me and we chatted a bit with his wife and a friend from Bogota who was joining them on the trip to the salt flats.  The flight was a bit rough but since we were in the mountains going to sea level...it was down hill all the way.  Once in Peru we asked about quality of the airport ceveche and were assured that it was top notch.   As it was already dark out and we only had three hours we decided to just stay in the airport and eat.  While not the best I had ever had it was pretty good...if expensive.  Alvaro wouldn't let me pay..protest as I may.  We then proceeded to the gate and boarded for the uphill leg of the trip.  It was a good time to get a little shut eye as we were not going to arrive before 1:30am.  I had done the immigration forms on the plane so I went right through.  Alvaro and his group were waiting for another person in their party who was not due in until 2:30am and they had to do the immigration forms as well.  We parted with assurances of being in touch. 
	Getting my bag and heading to customs I was a little nervous as they pulled me aside and made me unpack my bag for a through search.  Apparently the thing they saw on the  screen which inspired their curiosity was my rectangular mini jam box for blue tooth music.  It is a solid metal object and I guess they didn't like not being able to see inside of it. Once they knew what it was it was all good.  I must say that the weeks of packing and repacking my bag really paid off here as I knew exactly how everything went back in and was able to zip it up with no embarrassment.  Hardly worth all the work..but I find that if you don't do such a thing you wind up spending many hours working out your load and exactly how it should fit. Admittedly I bring a fair amount of stuff so there is not too much extra room in there.
	So here it was...2:30 am at 13,845 feet above sea level with a good stiff wind and temperatures in the 40's.  Found a radio cab.  You don't want to take just any cab there or it may be your last ride!  The driver was a good sport as he loaded my bag and waited while I took a picture with my cel phone of his license plate.  Really good idea to do this as the driver knows that you have a record of who he is...if they object...find another cab.  As it was late at night he took the back way through the town...saves the toll.  This takes you through a pretty hard neighborhood.  As cold as it was there was this guy...he was leaning against a wall with his hip touching it, bent over double, propped up so he didn't have to tough the cold ground...and he was asleep!   
	Everything was going according to plan...except for the fact that we couldn't find the hotel.  This time I had written the address down but it was still very hard to find.  Eventually we did and I tipped the driver an extravagant extra 10 Bolivianos...he was very happy as people don't generally tip much there.  Ok...so there are 7 bolivianos to a dollar...I can't help it if we have a good exchange rate...I was still making my brother proud as a high roller!
	At the hotel the bad news was that I was given a 2nd floor room on the street.  Very noisy...even with the ear plugs. The next morning I made clear my intention to leave unless I got a better room.  The showed me one which was OK but triple the price.  When I didn't bite, they showed me one which was shabby but not on the street.  Quiet and dark with a large wardrobe for me to put my stuff.  OK...this will do for the $10 a night I would be paying.  Only problem was that there was no heat and the room stayed a toasty 60 degrees.
	San Perdo was an area of La Paz which I was not familiar with.  A little ways from the heart of the tourist center...which was what I was looking for. A nice square with many street vendors.  But I digress.  So ends another segment.

The Bumbling Touristo 8-17-17

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