Returning to Australia

After a frantic search for flights back to Esperance, Western Australia, I managed to secure a ticket for AU$5500. A hefty price, which – TID insurance – ended up paying for. Thanks guys.

This was the most painful trip I have ever taken:

Here the deal, gotta get from La Paz, Bolivia to a remote town in Australia in three days for a funeral. Here is the deal, getting out of La Paz is not easy at short notice by Air. It took all night to plan. So no sleep and that’s the third night in a row with less than 3 hours sleep.

Here is the itinerary that I managed to pull together with the help of Flight Centre.

La Paz Bolivia 31/07/2012 (13:30) – Santiago de Chile 31/07/2012 (18:25)     US$237   Sky Airlines H2405


View from the plane, as we flew over the Atacama!

Santiago de Chile 31/07/2012 (23:30) – Auckland NZ 02/08/2012 (04:40) LAN Chile LA801
Auckland NZ 02/08/2012 (06:10) – Sydney Aus, 02/08/2012 (07:50) LAN Chile LA801
Sydney Aus, 02/08/2012 (10:10) – Perth, Aus 02/08/2012 (01:15) Qantas QF581
Perth, Aus 02/08/2012 (05:45) – Esperance, Aus 02/08/2012 (19:25) Skywest XR147

I had a tip top cab driver in La Paz, got me to the airport in good time for Bs/50. Had a good chat on the way to the airport.

Sky Airlines
Sky Airlines, despite taking an hour to check me in, because their ‘computers are slow’ weren’t that bad. The flight sucked, because it makes two stops before it arrives in Santiago. They typically sold the shit row of seats with less leg room and no recline to the gringos. So I sat near a group of kiwi travelers.

Make sure you have the airport tax in La Paz in cash on you! At random, I just have the exact money on me. I didn’t even know about the tax!

The Chilean immigration carefully scan the luggage coming in from Bolivia, dogs and all! The first I have seen in South America.

LAN Chile
By random I was seated next to Alex – crazy hey. Chantelle’s mate who I did  the Inca trail with!


An average bite to eat courtesy of LAN Air delaying the flight!  Thanks guys, your all heart!

After a 5 hour wait at Santiago Airport, LAN Chile decided to screw me over, and this is where the fun begins. We board the aircraft (A340-200) and everything seems in order. After sitting at the departure gate for the normal amount of time we taxi out to the runway. Then, the pilot makes an announcement, we need to wait for some reason. This turns into, the maintenance team need to decide if we have to swap aircraft and we do. We taxi back to the gate and are kicked out of the plane and told to go to eat a roll at a restaurant, which means queuing for an hour or so.
We eventually board the new Aircraft and leave Santiago at around 5am. Getting into New Zealand late, and Sydney late and of course, missing my flight to Perth.

2012-07-31 19.43.15

The Last Pisco Sour – A grim warning to tourists that you are actually leaving South America.

Qantas couldn’t manage to get me onto a flight to Perth until 4pm despite my amazing effort to clear customs in less than 15 minutes. This screwed me as I needed to board a Skywest flight at 5-45pm.

I transferred to terminal 2, and ran to the Virgin sales desk and they kindly sold me a flight to Perth for $270. The girl was kind enough to sell me a seat on a vacant row, and give me $16 in food vouchers for no reason. She was sweet, think she could tell I’d been crying. I didn’t even give her a sob story.
Then later they screw me over, delay the flight by 30 minutes again putting my connection in jeopardy.

I ran out of the plane in Perth to the Skywest check-in counter to find the latest time to check-in. 15 minutes. Back at the bag counter I manage to get my bag from the conveyer quickly – thank god – and run it over to Skywest for check-in.

So what do you think Skywest decide to do? Ah they think they need to swap the plane at boarding time, and delay the flight by 2 hours.

I arrived in Esperance destroyed.

Darmos una mierda

thanks for Giving a shit.

One Response to Returning to Australia

  1. Ben J January 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Wow, so, so many connecting flights. i can only imagine the stress you would have been under.

    Regardless, I think everyone was really happy to see you back and have a good catchup drink or 2 ;)

    Glad to see that your keeping the updates going, I know I’ll be following.

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