Today, Chris and I flew back from Rurrenabaque to La Paz, with the affordable and reasonably-safe Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM), the "military airline" of Bolivia. Slightly cheaper than Amaszonas, and just as efficient. After going through the experience of catching a plane in Bolivia twice now, I feel I should write up some instructions on how it's done, for anyone else who's interested in using Bolivia's fine commercial aviation services.
After three days here, Chris and I have already had enough of La Paz: we're off to the jungle! Today, we hopped on a plane with Línea Aérea Amaszonas, and flew north to the town of Rurrenabaque. It was either a 50-minute flight, or a 20-hour bus ride on a very bad road. Seeing that we've already done the whole long-bumpy-dangerous-road-to-the-jungle thing in Peru, we opted for the former. In Rurrenabaque, we're going to go exploring the pampas and the jungle. Should be fun.
We finished our morning's hike to the northern end of Isla Del Sol, just in time to reach the town near the northern ruins, 15 minutes after the last public boat back south took off. We got there at 2pm, and the boat had left at 1:45pm. Bit of a bummer: especially since various locals had assured us that the boat didn't leave until 2pm. But hey, I guess you can't exactly trust the locals' word around here. Anyway, we had to share the cost of a private boat back instead.
A new week, a new class, but the same teachers. Today was a bit of a rocky start to the week's lessons. In today's class, we had Chrystal, myself, and a new American couple, Debra and Ricky. However, we were also supposed to have two new French students, Justina and Dorien: but they didn't show up! Or, to be precise, they showed up 2 hours late, and then decided that they were too tired to stay, and went back home. And these are meant to be the new, advanced students for the week. Not too promising, if you ask me.
Therese is one of the many seldom-sober Irish girls that are staying at Loki. Therese has been here for about a month, she's starting work at the hostel, and she has no immediate plans to leave. Tonight, when we took Therese to Uptown for a big night, she kept going until 6am. The staff had to kick us out of the club, because we were the last ones there. We ended up virtually carrying Therese back to Loki.
599 is one flight number that I'm not going to forget for a long time. My flight from San Francisco to Vancouver was meant to leave at 12:25pm today. After boarding one aircraft, getting kicked off it and being sent back into the terminal, waiting for a long time, and boarding a second aircraft, we finally took off just after 7pm. So instead of arriving in Vancouver by 3pm, as I originally intended, I was out of the airport by about 9:30pm. This must have been the longest "express" flight from SF to Vancouver known to mankind. It was a long and boring day.