14th – 15th February 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day! Mwah, mwah, mwah.
I wish life had some love for me that day. Especially after my speedo wearing antics. It seemed that sod’s law was at full force here today.
Checking out of the hostel, I wanted to get to the airport in plenty of time seeing as I have a record for being extremely late for planes, see Brisbane Post as an example, so really in fact I was ready to splurge out on a taxi to take us to Rio de Janeiro/Galeão–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. But with two bad tourists with me who were also going to catch a plane the same day, Auston convinced me to grab a local bus there instead. I mean, it’ll be okay right, I’ve got 5 hours to get there and it takes about an hour on the bus right? WRONG. SOD’S LAW WILL LOVE YOU!
Leaving the bus journey planning in the capable hands of Auston, both Dave and I moseyed on with our breakfast. Perhaps it was a bad idea. But he explained that we needed to go to the main highway to flag down a bus that comes every 20 mins that will take us straight to the domestic airport first, which is literally 5 mins drive away in the city, and then stay on board to take us the International Airport. Sorted.
Shouldering our bags, we gave a farewell to the hostel team and then walked to the main highway only to discover, where the hell are the bus stops?! Lots of buses were going by but none of them seemed to stop. Catching sight of our bus we waved it but it still carried on by. Sweat trickling down my face and back due to the high scorching temperatures and humidity, we carried walking on towards the direction of the domestic airport.
Oh, I should mention to you that I was getting tonsilitis again. Not again! So being in this heat, worried about getting to the airport and carrying a heavy bag, I was ready to throw a huge tantrum. I considered just getting a taxi and I would pay for everyone. But no, after some advice from some locals, we carried on walking and then reached the Domestic Airport. On Foot. I just couldn’t believe it but lo and behold, the fabled bus was actually stationary. Climbing on board, we blessed the sweet air con and for another hour we were taken to the airport.
So my run of bad luck shouldn’t end there right? Again, sod’s law seemed to be following me like death in my shadow and as soon we entered the terminal. My flight wasn’t listed on the boards. Where’s my plane?! The list showed all flights from all terminals and there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Walking to the next terminal, there it was on this list. Why the hell didn’t the other terminal show it? Fed up, I got in line in the queue to check my bag in once finding out where my check-in desk was. After 45 mins lining up, I reached the counter and told her I was going to London after changing flights at Sao Paolo and Amsterdam. This was the Sao Paolo Line I was in by the way. The check in assistant simply told me I was in the wrong line. What? I checked again and it was indeed the right line. She explained that if I’m going to Amsterdam, I should go to check-in desk 16. O…..K… She better be right, I ain’t queuing up that line again. Traipsing over to 16, I was mega confused to see the destination ‘Santiago’ sprawled on the screens above Check in desk 16. No, I don’t want to go to Chile, however I would like to go there. Sighing, I knew I would be in for a long time. But I spied a offical looking woman at the beginning of the line and I went to speak to her. Yes, she confirmed, this is the line for Amsterdam. No, London I said. No, She said, it’s just to Amsterdam. What about the other plane from Amsterdam to Heathrow? Hmmm, she replied, you will see when you get there but this is the line for Amsterdam. So why is it saying Santiago?
Oh that’s just another flight. It’s okay, go ahead.
I gulped. And handed over the flight plans to the check-in assistant. She looked up at me and smiled and said,
‘So you want to go to Santiago sir?‘
No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I clutched my bag like a baby and shook my head violently. I almost spitted when I slowly mouthed ‘Amsterdam’. She slapped her head and said, ‘okay Amsterdam.’ Still clutching my bag, she printed out my boarding passes for all of my flights and with some satisfaction, I could see my flight to Sao Paolo then to Amsterdam and then onto Heathrow. Placing my bag on the belt, I watched it go out of eyesight and I really expected it to be going to Santiago instead.
Anyway, boarding passes and check-in done, it was time to wave Auston and Dave goodbye. Sad face. The last 3 and a half weeks with them has been absolutely amazing and I couldn’t have wished for better travel companions. They’ve put up with me, listened to my awful jokes, and my preening handsomeness and still carried on travelling with me. Hugging them both, it was pretty sad to find that I am back on my own without 2 bitchy Americans by my side. Bye TwoBadTourists!
After a speedy security process, I was at my gate. On my boarding pass, it said I should be at Gate 25 so I went through security for gates 20-29. But as soon as I exited security, there was a screen showing which gates for which planes and there it was my plane listed. At Gate 30. Shit. So does that mean I have to go out of security and go through another round? Checking first, I went to the edge at Gate 29 and there it was, a huge glass retractable door that was closed. Gate 30 was empty apart from some cleaners. I thought to myself that perhaps they are cleaning it up first and then opening the doors. That never happened. So many people who would be on my plane discovered this. Where’s my Plane?!
With half an hour to go, I thought, right I’m going to have to go through everything again and went to the screen to check the gate number again. Now it was 25. What the hell?! Tentatively, I didn’t even board the plane until at last call to make sure I was on the right plane!
Breathing a sigh of relief, I was on my way to Sao Paolo. The rest of the journey went without a hitch, thank god. Oh except, when I landed at Heathrow the day after at 1pm in the afternoon. It was so damn cold at 3 degrees celsius that my nipples became pyramids. Welcome back home to Britain. Oh, and my bags arrived. Thank god.