Last night I was all set to bail and take a bus to La Paz then fly to Asuncion to catch my original flight home this coming Monday. I just really wasn't (and still am not) confident we'd even be able to make it into Bolivia or past checkpoints with the new "export" paperwork. So I pulled up some flights and figured I would pull the trigger in the morning after finding out when some of the other people I know were leaving.
In the morning I'm sitting at my computer staring at a flight from La Paz to Asuncion on Monday morning to get me there just in time for my flight out for $150. I pulled out my credit card and was about to buy it on-line when Mark asked if I wanted to grab some breakfast – so I went off for an empanada (okay, two). When I returned, I went to finish my purchase and the flight was all sold out! After hours of researching I realized there was just no way to get to Asuncion and catch my original flights reliably.
So it looks like I'm stuck here. I've changed my flights (hopefully, won't be able to confirm until Monday) to return on next Monday, the 16th. Got my paperwork for the border sorted out and the plan is to head out tomorrow from Puno and spend the night in Desaguarderos, then get up first thing in the morning to cross into Bolivia. If all goes well the rest of the trip should look like this:
Monday – To somewhere just past La Paz
Tuesday – To Tehua north of the Salar de Uyuni
Wednesday – Cross the Salar de Uyuni to Fish Isle then to Uyuni (many people think I'm insane for expecting to do this but it's going to ROCK!)
Thursday – Uyuni to Potosi
Friday – Potosi to La Paz
Saturday – Buffer for breakdowns/etc.
Sunday – Flight from La Paz to Asuncion to Sao Paulo to Houston to DC!
Here we go again…