Last week was a whirlwind of projects, tests, and other assorted assignments, but my reward for getting through it was a trip to Bolivia this weekend. We left yesterday morning, and despite a number of hiccups along the way it was an extremely enjoyable trip. We flew from Santiago to Iquique, Chile and then stayed on the same plane to continue through to La Paz.
Well, we were on the 45 min. plane ride to La Paz from Iquique when all of a sudden we noticed on the screen that tracks the plane’s progress that we were turning in a circle. We didn’t really think much of it until the pilot came on and said that we were going back to Iquique because of an “operational error”.
They wouldnt tell us much more than that but once we landed they explained that because of the high altitude in La Paz, the airplane hadn’t been equipped to handle the pressure. Or something like that. The point was that apparently the oxygen masks were about to fall and we could have had a serious problem. It ended up working out great though because Iquique was one of the places in Chile I really wanted to see, but didn’t have the time for. The airline drove us about an hour from the airport into Iquique and took us to dinner at a nice hotel. Iquique is a beach town so we ate right on the water, gorgeous. Then they drove us back and we were ready to go.
The only unfortunate part was that we got into La Paz pretty late, but we took a cheap taxi to the hostal, checked in, and went to sleep. This morning we got up still exhausted but enjoyed a free pancake breakfast at the hostal. Our main adventure of the day was going to the Tijuanacu ruins about 2 hours outside of La Paz. The travel to and from the ruins was an adventure in itself.
This reminded me of the time when I was either 9 or 10 years old and my mom took me to Stonehenge in England with our neighbors, the Fosters. There is a very unfortunate video recording of this day with me proclaiming that I dont understand what the big deal is, theyre just a bunch of rocks. I was thinking about this today as I realized some of the extremes Ive gone to in order to see other sites that in essence, are just a bunch of rocks. Between Easter Island (which I owe you all a post on), Tijuanaca, Machu Picchu coming up in July - I think it would be fair to say that my mindset has changed substantially from when I was 10 years old. Despite thinking I was the smartest cookie in the box back then, I think I just couldnt grasp the significance of Stonehenge back then.
More to come!