Weʼve raised £1,815 to GET HARRY AND MOLLY HOME FROM BOLIVIA!
- Funded on Monday, 20th July 2020
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Harry and Molly find themselves stranded in Bolivia, we NEED to get them HOME! If the option comes up for a chartered flight the cost of this could be 3000 GBP per ticket. They do have some of the money, but we can NOT have them stranded in a third world country purely because of money. We appreciate the current situation across the world is making life hard for everybody but if everybody could spare the smallest amount it could make a BIG difference in getting them home where they will be safe. Please read on and let them tell you a small part of their story.
THIS IS THEIR STORY...
Never thought we’d be the authors of a post like this BUT here we are.
We are a British couple who have been travelling South America for 7 months and are now stuck in Bolivia unable to go home. Our embassy has failed us and many others. This is our story.
It was on Monday, halfway through our tour of the salt flats, when we first heard the Chilean borders were closing, and soon after that the Bolivians would follow suit. We pleaded with our tour guide to take us back but he refused. We rang our embassy who informed us we had to sort ourselves out and that we were on our own, it was up to us to get back soon enough. Instead we were forced to lose two days of our pre paid tour (it’s Bolivia, no refund) to take two members of our group, 14 hours in the wrong direction to the Chilean border, leaving at 3am.
After the border drop off we drove 17 hours through the night straight back to uyuni. When we arrived, we hopped straight onto a bus to La Paz. If only we’d questioned why it was four blocks away from all the other buses. At 5pm we notice we’ve come to a stop. We ask the driver what’s going on, they respond by gesturing us to hide. Then a man whispers to us “CURFEW”, turns out no night buses due to corona, would have been nice of the embassy to let us know- we are registered for updates after all. Somehow we’ve found ourselves on a illegal bus sneaking past military checkpoints, great. Eventually they give up and we’re told to hide until morning. In the meantime we call our family to contact the embassy for knowledge and support, THEY RESPOND BY HANGING UP. This left our family alone to book us flights home as our connection was too poor to do it ourselves.
Somehow we make it back to La Paz in time for our flight. With an hour to spare, we arrive at the airport to realise the flights are due to leave from La Paz.....in MEXICO. Shame our family was forced to panic buy and this couldn’t be arranged by people who are familiar with the territory, thanks again embassy. But it’s ok the nice lady says if we fly to Santa Cruz there will be a connecting flight to England later that day. We board.
Within 20 minutes of landing we realise the nice lady lied. No flights. To our dismay each airline informs us “There are no flights back to England left. Yes we see the ones online but you have to understand they don’t exist”. The severity of the situation sinks in.
Suddenly there are more of us. We meet three Aussies who inform us that the airlines sold them the same dream. Now only one option remains; travel to the Brazilian border which is still open until 12am according to our updates we find online and catch a flight out from there. We calculate. 9 hours until the border closes and a 8 hour drive, cutting it fine but we arrange a taxi, (5 people plus luggage in a Suzuki was truly an exceptional experience) and off we go..
I still don’t have the energy to recite exactly what happened but I can disclose that it entailed curfew breaking, cocaine corner shops, acquiring siphoned petrol from an 8 year old, biblical floods, a burst Tyre, a military stand-off, a police interception, a drugged up taxi driver and much more, as we were what can only be described as smuggled across county. In the meantime we also manage to book our passage back to England from Brazil, check ✅ It’s getting close and our taxi driver informs us he’s going to have to kick us out for fear of being arrested. Tired and lagging, we drag our feet towards towards the border. Turns out, our updates were wrong and it had in fact closed at 3pm that day. Surely this is information that the embassy should’ve been supplying, rather than us having to rely on online false news reports. I reiterate we were subscribed.
Suddenly it’s not all lost and the military tell us to return at 5am and we can pass through then, yay only four hours to wait! We cotch up out of the rain in a grimy hotel and begin the countdown to freedom.
At 5am we walk back up to the very same officer. “No 8am”. He says. “What?!” we are all livid, but we have no choice but to hold our place in the queue outside immigration, at least the mosquitos were happy. Breakfast served early. Finally 8.15am rolls around and a official comes out and informs us that they won’t stamp our passports until Brazil has agreed to let us in. I repeat, “WHAT?!” We all rush over to the Brazilian side, turns out all our efforts were in vain as, with no warning, they’ve decided THOU SHALL NOT PASS. (Even with a flight booked out). For a more vivid depiction of the next 3 hours you can watch us pleading with the border patrol in the pouring rain on Brazil’s largest news provider...it’s really quite funny. But alas our pleas fall on deaf ears, despite the British embassy REALLY HELPFULLY ensuring us that we are allowed to pass before hanging up, multiple times. A-holes.
Eventually we’re informed that unless we take a bus elsewhere right away we are to be quarantined at the border. No thank you. So off we went again, back to Santa Cruz, one word: long. As we’re nearing the town our hearts drop, it’s past curfew this means one thing, military, and now we are told by the British consulate they’re hungry for some more arrests, “just get inside straight away”. With no choice about drop off, We get off the bus and do our best to keep to the shadows as we make our way to yet another shabby hotel. Again we are left alone.
Don’t get us wrong being trapped in a third world country during a global pandemic was never going to be fun but, for us, the deeply upsetting thing about our situation is the British embassy’s outright refusal to help which has ensured that this fate was inevitable. They weren’t lying when they said “you are on your own” the first time we called. Our family continues to call them everyday to no avail.
Please guys, wear masks, stay inside, be safe and for goodness sake GET US HOME!
- 2 years ago
Charlotte Walters2 years ago
Firstly thank you to all those who have shared and donated... Harry and Molly are safe and staying in, to keep well. they are anxious and scared but are remaining positive. we have couple of newspapers releasing articles on their story,im positive going more public will help.
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Charlotte Walters started crowdfunding
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Mar 30, 2020
Hope you get home soon. Take care.
Mar 29, 2020
Mar 28, 2020
Mar 28, 2020
Mar 28, 2020
Mar 26, 2020
Praying they're home soon.
Mar 26, 2020
Hope they get home soon x
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