I think there’s just something this city has against me. It’s hard to believe it was only 8 days ago that I limped, in tears, through the La Paz bus station, frantic to find a cab and get myself to a hospital or clinic, worrying that my foot was broken and my travels are over. But here I am, another huge hitch in my travel plans, and back in La Paz, where I don’t want to be.
My overnight bus from Cochabamba arrived in La Paz around 7 AM this morning and I was at the airport by 7:30 AM. The ticket agent told me to check back at the counter at 9 AM, that’s when she would know if my flight to Rurrenabaque was cancelled.
So, with my typical luck, and the travel gods clearly against me this week, every single flight for the day was cancelled. And, most likely, there will be no flights for the next several days because of weather conditions and a bad runway at the airport in Rurrenabaque.
I met a nice Australian couple also on my cancelled flight, so we shared a cab back down to La Paz and began brainstorming. The options?
* A 20+ hour bus ride on a non-tourist bus (not a “cama” or “semi-cama” — bed or half bed — bust with reclining, comfy seats like the ones I usually take overnight). No thank you.
* A private jeep, which would cost about 550 Bolivianos per person (I paid 650 Bolivianos, or $90, for the 40 minute flight I was supposed to take) and take between 16 and 18 hours, getting us into Rurrenabaque at 7 AM to start 9 AM tours into the jungle that same morning. Again, no thank you.
* Wait it out in La Paz and see if weather conditions improve/flights by chance don’t get cancelled over the next several days. Feasible, technically, since I’m not completely crunched for time, but I’m not exactly enthralled with La Paz and I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is sitting around and waiting.
I was able to get a full refund for the tour I’d booked and can go to any Amaszonas Airlines office in Bolivia to get a full refund for my cancelled flight, so with those things in mind, I went back to the bus station (for what felt like the thousandth time in 8 days) and bought a bus ticket to Sucre for tonight.
It was bright and sunny this afternoon (it’s currently absolutely down pouring with thunder and lightening sneaking its way in every few minutes — luckily I’m tucked in a cafe with wifi and a coca tea) so I did some retail therapy shopping, which I’d been itching to do since I first arrived in Cochabamba. I bought myself a gorgeous Incan calendar ring, some Chakana cross silver earrings, an awesome South America patch with the flags on every country, and two pieces of beautiful embroidered artwork – one for me, and one for Mom!
I’m officially giving up on northern Bolivia, and hoping that the southern half of the country treats me a little bit better. I smell, I haven’t showered in nearly 3 days, and am totally exhausted from half-sleeping on the bus last night, but hopefully I can just pass out for the 12 hour ride and start a fresh new week in Sucre.