The trip is over – almost

take off to our RTW trip 2013-03-020At 4:30 AM we can fly down the usually congested freeways with our rental car: Along Downtown and Beverly Hills; Hollywood in a distance is hiding in the marine layer. Some highway service cars are picking up trash from the road on the 405: I’ve never seen entire furniture on a freeway before I came to LA. A quick stop at the gas station to fill up the tank before returning the car. Gas is $4.15/gal; when I came to LA 14 years ago
the price was $0.99.  There were also no security check, take off your shoes and rotating scanners.

And then the big surprise: TACA airlines is not boarding us because we don’t have a return or ongoing ticket out of Peru. Our explanation that we will leave by bus and have a ticket out of Argentina, that our travel agency did not tell us about this, that we will camp out in front of the counter together with the entire press corps of LA, that I have a weak heart – whatever we try, nothing works. I get on the phone but our agency is not open at 5:30 AM. The 24hour travel insurance support tells us that this is not a reason to cancel our flight but they would be happy to reschedule for a fee. Meanwhile Nadine bonded with the TACA personnel: They are on the phone with managers and immigration and come up with a plan: We buy a refundable ticket out of Peru right at the counter, will be boarded to Lima, cancel the ticket after we pass immigration and get the full refund. Why we can get on board with a ticket we can cancel any time but not without it is not further discussed.

Anyway, we are on the plane towards our first destination, Lima. And Nadine is doing a little better once she discovered a dear friend on board. 

L’aventure commence et nous faisons face a notre 1er obstacle. Nous arrivons a l’aeroport de LA a 5h du mat pour s’entendre dire que notre billet autour du monde ne suffit pas pour montrer aux autorites peruviennes que nous quitterons le territoire par route et non par avion. Notre prochain avion part de Buenos Aires (Argentine) fin Juin. Nous avons donc plus de 3 mois pour parcourir le Perou, la Bolivie et l’Argentine. Bref, l’agent de la compagnie aerienne TACA nous maintient que l’on ne peut pas prendre l’avion sans un retour ou une preuve que nous quitterons le pays. 1ere nouvelle! Nous avons fait nos recherches, notre agence de voyage qui specialise dans les voyage autour du monde ne nous a rien signale de tel…bref….il faut trouver une solution sur le tas. La seule solution est d’acheter un billet d’avion qui sera la preuve de notre sortie du sol peruvien. Nous optons pour un vol Lima-LaPaz (Bolivie) qui coute une forture – heureusement l’astuce est d’acheter des billets remboursables. Une fois arrivee a Lima, je saute sur mon telephone pour appeler notre agence – qui n’a jamais entendu parler d’une chose pareille. Maintenant c’est entre les mains de l’agence qui va s’occuper de regler cette affaire avec la compagnie aerienne directement. La vie est pleine de surprises – celle-ci est probablement le debut d’un long parcours…Qui vivra verra – on est la a Lima!

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