Resting in La Paz

11 hours and several close calls later (the roads are very dangerous in Bolivia) I arrived at Camino Real in La Paz.

As I stepped into the posh hotel having spent 9 days in the Salar my appearance could only be described as abominable.

When I first met Carla Perrotti just before I set off across the desert I stupidly forgot to take a picture of me with her with my camera. I'd been beating myself about that for a few days in the Salar. "You are never going to meet her again and you don't even have a photo with her" I kept saying to myself.

To be honest after a few days under the blazing sun I myself started to doubt whether I had really met her or it was all just a dream.

However, as I entered the hotel lobby there she was on her way out with her group of family and friends.

We had a chat and then she said "You have the Salar in your eyes". At first I thought she meant the amount of salt that was still lodged around my eyes after so many days in the Salar, but she said "No" in her charming Italian accent. She looked straight into my eyes and repeated.

"You have the Salar IN your eyes"

A very special person.

And this time I did get my photo taken with her.

The next day and with several days left till my return flight, I thought I'd try to catch an earlier flight back if possible so I walked to the main AA offices in La Paz.

The person behind the desk seemed to be in a state of permanent confusion

Me: I have a ticket for the 4th of September but my business here is finished and I was wondering if there were any earlier flights?

AA person: (typing on the keyboard) The first opening I have is on the 21st of September and that would be...$1700.

Me: ...No, I already have a ticket and would like to take an earlier flight if possible.

AA person: (still typing) Oh excuse me sir. (Clickety clickety click) You are flying via Miami?

Me: Yes.

AA person: (click click) know the connection you have is not valid...yes this is not a valid connection. You know why?


AA person: Because of the change in time. You know...from Summer to Winter?

Me: Excuse me but are we now talking about the 21st of OCTOBER?

AA person: (Clickety, click, click) Yes. That's when you said your ticket is for didn't you?

Me:'s for this Saturday...the 4th

AA person: (Click, clickety, click) Oh and you wanted to just confirm that flight right?

Me: ...Yeah...Right.

So I stayed in La Paz for a few days, got to know the city a bit better and picked up another stomach infection in the process the day before my flight back the the UK. Another course of Doxycycline but this time it's Ok as the UK is not renowned for its high levels of ultraviolet radiation...