Thursday, January 9, 2014

First Test

So yesterday I got an urgent email from Expedia, telling me there was a flight change and I needed to call them ASAP. This was soon followed by a phone call and message saying the exact same thing. Obviously something big had gone down. I call and the first person I talk to informs me that my flight out of Edmonton has been cancelled due to United Airlines changing their schedule, and that no other flight will match up with my connecting flight out of Bogota. The guy puts me on hold so he can call United and try to get another flight. After about ten minutes of being on hold, he tells me it could take a while due to the insane weather that has been hitting the American Midwest hard the past week, and that he'll call me back.

About half an hour later he calls back and connects me with another operator, who tells me that after another ten minutes of searching he can't find any suitable flights for me, the only one close to it flies into Lima, and being in Peru, that doesn't work. His suggestion is to refund the trip. I start to become worried; the other destination I had wanted to go to was Japan, and right now it's under threat of going nuclear from the removal of the fuel rods from Fukushima. I refuse, stressing that there must be another option. If I take the refund, I will most likely end up paying more now that the trip date is closer. He looks around a bit more, and lone behold, he finds another round trip flight, same days, better times, for less money! I am once again happy. There's more connections with this flight route, but no shitty overnight layover in Chicago on the way home, instead I'm in Edmonton the same day.

This trip has survived it's first test. So what am I doing with the $80 I saved? Snowboarding trip this weekend!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Travels

Happy New Year!

I'm a day late, but fuck it, it's still the new year. I'm just over two months away from my upcoming trip to Bolivia and Chile, and as I was doing some research on the Bolivian Salt Flats of Uyuni, I figured I should write up a post.

I'm only taking three weeks for this trip (my shortest backpacking trip to date), as I want to do another one later in the year. Already this short amount of time is making it feel a little rushed. To compensate I've decided to spend a little extra money and take a couple internal flights within Bolivia and Chile so I'm not spending precious time on long distance buses, which I've heard are supposed to be a nightmare in Bolivia.

As it stands right now, the plan is to fly into La Paz, spend a day or two there, catch a flight to Uyuni and immediately jump on a tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats, which ends with a connection to San Pedro Atacama, the hub for tourism in the Atacama Desert in Chile. I'll stomp around there for a few days, exploring the driest desert on Earth, then hop south and hopefully end up in Valaparaiso, a beautiful town on the coast not far from Santiago. On the 24th I have a flight booked to what should be the highlight of my trip, Easter Island. I've had it in my mind to visit this remote island for a long time, and since Chile is one of the two only places in can be reached from, I have to spend the extra money and set foot there. I have four days there, fly back to Santiago and spend a couple more there, then take my awful flight home, which is over 24 hours long. While Canada is a beautiful country and I love living there, it's probably one of the worst places to live if you want to get anywhere else in the world for a reasonable cost or time frame.