Monday, July 12, 2010

Too much cool stuff here -- a change in plans

I just can't get myself to leave!

I was going to have to pack my stuff up today, set an alarm, and then get up well before dawn to catch a boat downriver. Then it would have been so long, Amazon -- back to Boston I'd go. What a bummer.

Instead, the last three or four days have been full of attempts to extend my stay. This turns out to be tricky, since (1) I made the decision on Friday afternoon, (2) I would have to catch the Tuesday morning boat to make the Wednesday flight, and (3) my travel agent doesn't work on the weekend. I left them instructions to go ahead and purchase any itinerary that got me into Boston between the 20th and the 24th, so long as it cost less than a given amount to do so. 

So I spent the day with baited breath. After a lovely day of getting rained on in the field, I checked my email, and things looked good -- my travel agent had found me a new flight on American for a total of about half my threshold price, all told. I wasn't sure that they'd actually done the change yet, though, so I sent back a note for confirmation. Then things got hairy. 

Somehow, in the forty minutes it took for me to read and respond to that email, the new flight was no longer available. "We'll check again tomorrow and get back to you," the email read. Apparently, my so-called travel agent (alternatively: agent of misbegotten hope?) had read neither my explicit instructions to go ahead and reserve the itinerary nor my detailed explanation of why 'tomorrow' wasn't going to work.

In desperation, I sent another email pleading for fast action. To their credit, they got back to me relatively quickly with a completely new ticket within the hour. Unfortunately it was about double the cost of the previous option -- but with twenty minutes left in the white collar workday, my options were getting mighty slim. So I bit. Faced with a choice between packing it in and another ten days in the jungle, what would you have done?

For interested parties, my new itinerary has me leaving from Puerto Maldonado at 2:35PM on Thursday the 22nd, and arriving into Logan at 10:10AM on Friday the 23rd on flight NK610. 


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