Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Made it to La Paz and then she Stole my Camera

So, I'm in Puno, Peru, pooping my guts out for days and days.  The little hotel lady was so cute, "are you going to Copacabana tomorrow?" and everyday I would tell her, "I can't.  I'm sick."  This went on for four days.  And then one day I felt better (I even shaved my legs) and the pooping was much less frequent...so I decided to go for it.  After all, it was only a 2 hour bus ride to Copacabana. 

BEFORE THE PROTESTERS DECIDED TO CLOSE DOWN THE ROAD AND THE BORDER CROSSING.

So, as she explained, my only option to get into Bolivia was to take the slow slow boat across Lake Titicaca and walk across the border.  "How long is this boat?"  "9 hours", she tells me, "but don't worry, it has a bathroom."  Oh, I'm sure this boat does have a bathroom.  It always goes really well for me when the boat has a bathroom. 

Fortunately, the boat ride went off pretty much without a hitch.  I would post some photos of the lovely, lovely Lake Titicaca, but...well the camera is gone.  It was early Sunday morning, I figured I would spend one night in Copacabana, go to Isla del Sol, and then go over to La Paz for my flight on Tuesday night.  Anyways, I didn't really pay attention to anybody on the boat, because I was trying not to poop on them, but they were to become my best friends in the next few days.  Because the boat totally dropped us off in the middle of nowhere.  We had to pay some random lady 1 sol (30 cents) to use her dock and then we had to walk uphill for a mile to the border.  When we got there, a Bolivian man in a Stephen Segal ponytail told us that the Peruvian border was closed, and they wouldn't be able to give us a stamp 'out' of Peru, and so the open Bolivan border people couldn't give us a stamp 'in' to Bolivia.  And so we better just go to La Paz and settle everything with the Embassy there.  So that's what we did.  And of course he conveniently sold us all bus tickets and then we realized we had been Segammed.  (scammed by Segal.  You didn't need explanation for that one, did you?)  Oh well, no more Isla del Sol.  At least I could maybe bike down the death road if I had time...

Back on the bus!  For three hours.  Oh, yah and the bus dumped us off and we had to ride little Hal Hexum fishing boats across this water thing and wait for the bus again.  They never really explain anything.  This is when our little group started bonding.  There was Iyno from Finland, Alexandra from Germany, me from the USA, Melvin from Singapore, Sarah and Adam from England, Danny from Denmark, Sahaf from Israel, a girl from Peru and a girl from Italy and a dude from Peru.  When we finally arrived in La Paz we all went to the same hotel and I ended up sharing a room with Iyno and Alexandra.  In the morning, we all trudged over to the Embassy where they told us that they could stamp us 'in', but we had to do ten ridiculous steps first, including make copies across the street and blah blah blah.  Oh, but you from the USA (me) and you from Singapore (Melvin), you need Visas.  So first, you need to buy Visas.  Then you two can go through the 10 ridiculous steps.  But first, Visas.

OK - when I was in Buenos Aires I spent half a morning at the Bolivian Embassy where they told me I did NOT need a Visa, that they could give me 15 days Transit Visa for free.  And then in Puno, a man said I did in fact need a Visa, but he didn't have any stickers.  He said, go to the border they have tons of stickers there.  But the border was closed.  So here I was, having to pay $135 to be in Bolivia for 2 days. 

GOOD LORD THIS STORY IS LONG.

Anyways, I'll try and skip to the end.  Melvin and I did all they asked us to do, and came back at 5:30pm, but of course only his was ready.  I had to come back at 11am.  And so I did.  And that's the story of how I got my passport back 3 hours before I had to be at the airport to go home.

I celebrated by buying Hanna a present, and me two presents.  This spent all of my Bolivian money right down to the exact amount I needed to take the rickety colectivo vans they have to the airport.  Then I went and got all my bags and loaded up, had a friend take the one and only picture of me with my backpacks all loaded up and ready for the airport, (*sniff* stolen) and I started walking the two blocks to the airport van pickup area. 

After I hailed the van, and before I got in it, somebody forcefully bumped into my backpack and ran me into the man next to me.  But it was crowded.  I didn't notice until halfway to the airport that my little camera was no longer in my back pocket.  I am pretty sure I apologized to the thief for bumping into him, as he stole my camera.

Blah blah blah

Anyways, after the last week I have had...lost wallet, poopy McPooperson, too much time spent in an Embassy and not enough time having fun in La Paz, stolen camera...I was sort of bummed, but then I got an email from my mom regarding my homecoming weekend at the cabin:

Here's the plan.....

Thursday: Kelly and I are doing pizza night.
 Friday: Keri --- breakfast. Kelly --- supper.
 Saturday: Karley --- breakfast. Kim --- supper.
 Sunday: Pete and Tanya --- breakfast. Dianne --- supper.
 Monday is leftover day all day.

In between and all day we can snack on anything we want.

Please bring: snack foods, beverages including alcohol and wine, food for your assigned meal.

Sleeping accommodations: Keri, Kelly, Kady: Loft.
Hanna, Karley, Bethany: Bunkhouse.
Kim, John, Skete: Tent
Pete and Tanya: Camper
Miles, Murphy and Miyo: In, around and in between. :D

There will be 4 boats for fishing...we have plenty of rods and tackle and life vests for everyone.

Are you kidding me?  Pizza night?  Leftover night?  Did you notice I wasn't assigned for any meals?  So I don't have to DO anything?  4 boats for fishing??  I'm so freaking excited to see my family this weekend and eat and fish and I guess sleep with Keri and Kelly in my loft bedroom!

Hope you like the floor, suckers!

2 comments:

Kelly said...

Youngest gets the floor. Sorry Kady but that ends up being you

Kady Hexum said...

Well at least I'm not turning 40 this year.

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