I am in South America. I am in Peru. I am in Cusco. I have never been here before and I don’t know if I will ever return. These are the thoughts that I considered when I decided to extend my trip. The original plan was to return to the U.S. on the 18th of November. As I thought of the prices and weighed the options, I enthusiastically agreed with my wiser self and went to LAN to make the change.
I was lucky that they were running a summer special in August, my roundtrip was 650 US$ including taxes. Other than mistake fairs, that a few of my mates on the Inca Trail found, I have found nothing better. So when the attendant told me that it would cost a total of 400 to change my fair. The ticket originally said, 100 dollars plus a service fee of 35. I was annoyed, because 265 dollars goes a long way in Cusco. But knowing the likelihood of success in arguing in spanish, I swallowed my doubt and annoyance and figured out a day that would cost less. Eventually, I found a day that had me leaving a few days earlier than I wanted, non peak and cost 300 total to switch. This was not so bad. Knowing the likely cost of the best case scenario cost for a return to Peru, I was willing to accept it.
It is an okay price to pay for an extra month in South America, and given the adventures I have had since the 18th of November, it was worth it for just the extra two weeks in Cusco. I am in Bolivia now, after taking a 12 hour night bus to La Paz. I rode a mountain bike on the camino de la muerte on Sunday and visited an animal refuge in the jungle. La Paz has beautiful views and amazing excursion opportunities everywhere I look. I only wish I had more time and funds to spend here. Right now I am trading work in the bar in a hostal for a free week stay at Adventure Brew Hostal in La Paz. The hostal bar has the best beer I have had in South America. The beer is calles Saya, I believe it is one of a very few microbrews on the entire continent. The bartending is definitely an interesting experience and the view of La Paz from the sky bar is hard to beat.
On Sunday, I will actually get to go to the Island of the Sun. Something I have been looking forward to since, Javier, my argentine amigo from Buenos Aries, enchanted my imagination when he told me of his adventure there.
What’s more? The 2012 Chakra festival is happening at the same time that I am in Bolivia. On the Isla del Sol. This a magnificent stroke of luck. To be in South America and on Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the Incan civilization and at the same time as the end of the Mayan Calendar is amazing.
This is literally a once in a lifetime chance and I am lucky, that fate or freewill has led me here.
And so the adventure continues. The experience is worth much more than the money I would save if I have returned early. Adventurous experience outweighs the value of the monetary issue, this I know with certainty.