I’m happy to say that all went well on my flights to La Paz, Bolivia. The flight from Los Angeles to Bogota, Columbia was about 6 hrs. and I had a 3 hour layover. The airport was modern with lots of duty free shops but very few restaurants. I took a look at the food court – three places to buy hamburgers and fries. I decided to wait and see what the airline offered.
I was lucky on the next flight as I had all three seats to myself. The food was ok – pasta with a red sauce. I did get some sleep but lots of turbulence didn’t help. We arrived into La Paz at about 2am. I had filled out all the immigration papers using my Peruvian ID as my document rather than my American passport and was nervous presenting it. This was my first time to use it. The officer was a bit confused and even went to ask his supervisor but he finally accepted my ID. You probably wonder why I wanted to use it – it saved me $135.00! I would have had to get a visa as a USA citizen. The Peruvian ID gets me into any South American country without having to get a visa.
As I stepped out of the baggage and customs area, I saw my guide holding up my name. My guide, Marisol, speaks excellent English and is very accommodating and helpful. It took 30 minutes to drive to the hotel – Ritz Apart Hotel. My room was very spacious with a small kitchenette and sitting area. Unfortunately, the decor was of the fifties era. My view from the bedroom was cement walls but from the kitchenette I could see the mountains and the city.
Since I went to bed so late, I didn’t get up until 11am and by the time I got myself together it was about 12:30. It was almost time for lunch so I asked where to go – one restaurant was upstairs and another was downstairs with a buffet. I took a look at the buffet and the room was dark and dreary. The buffet was ok but I wasn’t that hungry so I went back to the upstairs restaurant. Everything was meat but one fish dish – trout. It is kind of like salmon as it is all pink inside. I was the only one there and it took a long time to be served. The fish was cooked to over done but the French fries were good. My guide and driver were going to pick me up at 2:30 so I had some time and decided to explore a bit near the hotel.
I discovered a grocery store and wanted to see what they had that I could eat for my dinner. I bought a strange looking avocado, a couple of carrots, some teeny bananas and bag of low salt peanuts. It was going to be a strange dinner! The weather was overcast and looked like it might rain any minute so I hurried back to the hotel. It was almost 2:30 so I got my umbrella, raincoat and camera then went downstairs to meet my guide.