|Today is a travel day. We will be flying from Santiago, Chile to Bogota, Columbia for our connection to La Paz, Bolivia to arrive at 2:50 am (What???)
By the way, another sunny, but cold winter day.
We arose at 7:30 am to shower and go down to a nice buffet breakfast. The selection was decent - scrambled eggs done three different ways, and all of the usual South American breakfast foods. After breaakfast we returned to the room. Jean showered and washed her hair. I relaxed, caught up on my blog somewhat. We did not have to leave the room until 12:00. Which was good since we had a 3:10 flight. Mind you the airport is only a few steps away :)
After we did luggage checkin and obtained our boarding passes, we passed through security. We then tried to go to one of the Priority Pass lounges, but one Jean had on her list was permanently closed. The other was only open between 16:00 to 13:00 hours (4:00 pm to 1:00 pm), who does that? So we proceeded to the gate and sat there. We were near a charging station, so I charged my phone while we waited to board.
The gate we were told was 15. The sign at the desk never changed, so Jean went over to the departure board to check and found that the gate had changed to gate 12! So we ran over to that gate to find luckily/unluckily that the flight was delayed 45 minutes. It had just arrived and the passengers needed to disembark, the new flight crew needed to go aboard to prep the plane.
We finally boarded. As soon as we could we started watching movies. I watched The Last Word and Jean watched Manhattan Night, The Great Debaters and part of Chronicle. The meals were for lunch a chicken dish, and for late night snack a croissant with ham & cheese. We landed and took the bus via the scenic tour of Bogota airport to the international arrivals.
We walked forever to the international transit security checkpoint. After security we checked the board for our new gate for La Paz. It was on a lower floor, but not a cattle call/bus plane area. It was just a lower entry onto the plane. We had a brief wait before boarding began.
Once on the plane and seated, I watched De-Lovely which was based on Cole Porter's life. It was ok. Jean watched the rest of Chronicle and started the Iron Lady. The meal was either beef or pasta. I had the pasta which was ravioli. Jean had the beef dish. After the meal I finished the paperwork (immigration & declaration forms) for Bolivia and tried to rest for the rest of the flight. But boy, my back was hurting from sitting all day and could not find a comfortable position.
We quickly went through passport control. While waiting in line, a guard asked to see Jean's passport and checked it against a list. When it was our turn, we went up together and a guard would not let me at the same window with Jean (only one at a time, even though there was a couple next to Jean at that window and other couples had gone before). But hey, you choose your battles. It made the guard feel important and that he was doing his job. Jean went and found our luggage while I was being processed. We then had to present our luggage claim ticket before we were able to leave the baggage claim area.
Next we had to put our luggage through a scanner. Then we were able to find our ride. Wendy was there with a driver. It was now about 3:30 am. We were glad that they were there to greet us. We walked out to the van and began our long descent from the airport (13,000 ft) to our hotel (11,000 ft). The road down was under construction so it was a terrible bumpy drive. Down in the city you would not believe the traffic for now 4:00 in the morning. Mainly taxis dropping off/picking up young people going to clubs, discos, etc. Friday night is party night! Ah, to be so young. A few more hours and we would have been up 24 hours! We are so old. Plus we were feeling the high altitude.
We arrived at our hotel, Real Plaza Hotel on Av. Arce. We quickly registered and were taken to our room, 1023. We didn't unpack, just got out our night clothes and fell into bed, exhausted.