My diary starts with: The adventure begins. Iíve spent six weeks worrying, preparing, panicking, etc. and now it has started.
I had been unable to check in for my flight over the computer. Apparently, the issue was that they needed to verify that I had a Bolivian Visa or at least the photograph needed for one.
I had no problems checking my bags. (I was afraid that the duffle would be too large.) There were no bags for backpacks, although the attendant did have bins to put such things in. I hoped my things would get to La Paz intact.
I screwed up slightly at security. I was picturing a metal detector, so I didnít take off my money belt. That got me a pat down, a check for residue on my hands, and I had to wait for the money belt to go back through x-ray.
Waiting for my plane to board, I wrote: Now that it has started, I think I am calmer than I have been. I no longer need to worry about training or packing. I will succeed or I wonít. Iíve done what Iíve done and either it was enough or not. Now I just need to sit back, enjoy the trip, and put my trust in God.
I had scheduled myself for an earlier flight from Boston to Miami to avoid a potentially short layover. I didnít know if I would have to go through customs or do funny things with luggage. So I gave myself about 4 hours in Miami. It turns out I didnít need to. It seems leaving is much easier than entering the US. Going out, it is just like a normal connection.
Concourse D in MIA (Miami International Airport) must be a mile long. I walked the length of it, had dinner, and I still had about 2 hours to kill.
I wrote: It is strange, but sometimes you can be the loneliest when surrounded by people.
Iíd been thinking for several days before my trip that my knees and in particular my left knee was not too happy with me. Only time would tell if it would hold out.
One thing that I had planned to get at EMS but forgot was a small thermometer. I ended up finding a refrigerator magnet in an airport gift-shop with a thermometer on it. I figured it was probably grossly inaccurate, but I figured it was better than nothing.
I was focused on the climbing, with the flight as an afterthought. So I didnít bring any gum, and I didnít bring any earphones. I got the latter from the stewardess (for free no less), but I missed the first 10-15 minutes of the movie.