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An Unexpected and Bizarre Trip to New Zealand

Posted by on September 16, 2010

This post is for the days from the 31st of July to the 3rd of August.

So the route that Scott had come up with appealed in that it was crazy, and cheap. I like crazy travel, and it was a good way of passing 48 hours before my long flight. At least I thought so beforehand. The plan involved a flight from La Paz, Bolivia (coincidentally, the two nurses from Uyuni were on the same flight)) – 2 hours or so to Lima, Peru. Conveniently, Scott was visiting his girlfriend Ivonne who lives there, so I was able to spend the day with them, and see her house and family, and the hostel where Scott stays there, where he’d had so many online chats with me from, and indeed where he’d planned this route from the previous day. We had a buffet of Peruvian food for lunch, including a Peruvian Pisco Sour (which I think I’m obliged to say is superior to the Chilean ones), until finally by 7pm I had to get to the airport for the next flight. At 9.30 I flew to Montevideo, Uruguay, arriving around 4.45am, with very little sleep. I bussed into town to the main bus station, waited 90 minutes for everything to open (it was a Sunday and it was early), and bought a ticket. Soon I was on a three hour bus ride up the coast to Colonia. From there I went to the ferry terminal, and caught a ferry across the sea to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Frustratingly, now on the go for 30 hours, I needed to get to Retiro bus station, and I vaguely recognised the street the dock was on as one that connects with Plaza de Mayo, where I knew there was a subte (underground). I walked for about 45 minutes to get there, went down, caught the train to Retiro, came outside and realised I was about 100m from the port….where I was an hour ago. Sigh. I bought a bus ticket and took the 45 min journey to Ezeiza airport, getting there around 2pm. Originally I planned on staying in a hostel for the day, but I wasn’t convinced I’d wake with any number of alarms, so spent the next few hours charging my laptop and doing stuff on my computer. I explored the entire airport, had a lot of coffee, and a final Argentinean steak dinner at their fine restaurant, before heading across to the other terminal for my flight to Auckland at 2am. As is prone to happen with all of Aerolineas Airlines flights, it was delayed – and at 5am, just before they were about to cancel it, it was announced for departure. (A nice coincidence here was that previously I’d tried to get on flights with Amal from La Paz, but for various reasons I wasn’t able to do so. But while talking with his sister online, we worked out that his flight to Auckland was the same plane as me.)

The flight was long and I was tired. Fortunately it wasn’t full, and the Brazilian guy next to me saw one of his friends and went and sat with him, giving me two seats to try and get an hour’s sleep on. I arrived in Auckland late, hung around until my also-delayed flight to Christchurch. By the time I got to my parent’s house, it was 72 hours of travelling, and the crazy route didn’t seem quite so appealing.

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