London Heathrow -> Sao Paola, Brazil
One by one we all started arriving at London Heathrow Terminal 5, each of us congregating on the floor of Cafe Nero, sitting down sharing our thoughts and feelings about the journey which lay ahead of us. We followed the normal procedures; check in, security and then the best part duty free. We decided to eat a cheeky Wetherspoons lunch before boarding the plane, which happened to be my saving grace. Of all the flights I have ever been on, British Airways was one which I had never experienced. Quite frankly I had to pass on the food served.
All 18 (but 1) of team Bolivia were placed next to each other on the flight. And yes, it was me who was seated in isolation away from Team Bolivia. To my left was an empty seat and to my right was an elderly man who is originally from Netherlands but lived in São Paulo Brazil for over 25 years. As I looked ahead I couldn’t but notice a guy making an epic entrance by stumbling unto the plane a few minutes before take off. The commotion he had made just to get to his seat was one to remember, breathing heavily, hitting people to his left and right with his huge rucksack, I looked around and realised he was destined to sit next to me. I asked him where he was off to and he explained he is originally from Brazil but studies at university in London, travelling back home for summer. Conversation started flowing particularly between the young student and I, he was kind enough to give me a crash course in Spanish which he spoke fluently. During the next 3 hours we engaged in discussions about cultural differences, advice about staying safe in Bolivia.
We landed in São Paulo, Brazil at 5am and our connecting flight was scheduled for 4pm the same day. With a very tired group and 60 minutes free wifi connection we had to make the best use of our 10 hour Lay over. My trustee multiple extension came into good use. With each of us taking turns to charge our electronic devices. Western dependencies!
Sao Paola, Brazil -> Cochabamba
As we passed through Security we all headed to Starbucks to buy snacks/drinks however little did we know that our mastercards would all be declined. At that point I accepted the fact that it wasn’t meant to be. We boarded our final flight to Cochabamba, which was 3.5 hours and at this point we were all just ready to get to Bolivia. We marvelled at the beautiful scenery we saw as the flight was descending. Altogether we spent 29 hours from London Heathrow to Bolivia, Cochabamba. The Journey was all worth it when we were greeted by our Bolivian counterparts and team leaders with ‘Bienvenidos’ signs, multiple balloons and massive cheers!