April 9, 2019
The joys of travel. We make the road by laughing.
December 1, 2017
The airport hotel in Auckland, NZ refused to give me late check out. So I was on the 11AM shuttle for a flight leaving at 11 PM. So I had plenty of time to find an airline that everyone agreed did not exist. Finally discovered the first leg was operated by Air New Zealand so check-in was with them. Thankfully I was in no rush so no problem. Then I remembered a couple from Texas who were on my NZ tour. They had been to Peru and told me about a book related to my sacred site pilgrimage. It is about the ancient Incas and their relationship with stone. I downloaded it onto my faithful kindle, found a comfortable coffee shop, and started reading. It was a great read in preparation for part 4 of this pilgrimage. I got my three mile walk in and managed to use all my NZ currency except about 30 cents. It was a good day after all.
Flight to Buenos Aries was long but fine. Getting through the airport challenged my language skills but I made it. The flight to Lima on Argentinia Airlines was very rough weather wise, shake, and the flight attendants spoke very limited English. The customs forms were passed out but they had run out of those in English. Thank God for Google. I found the form online in English so I could fill out the Spanish version.
Maneuvered immigration, customs, and negotiating a taxi and made it to hotel after being up over 36 hours. Girl at desk looked confused when I tried to check in so she got the manger. He was also at a loss and finally spoke to a man at the desk in Spanish. That man then introduced himself as an OAT tour guide. He is not my guide but is here with another group. He explained to me that I had arrived 24 hours early and did not have a reservation until the next day. Then it all came back to me. I had called OAT twice before I booked my flight from NZ because the materials were not clear about what day the tour actually started. The written stuff always makes day 1 the day you leave home, not the day you actually start touring. Since I was not coming from the States I needed to know when the group would actually start touring. She told me to leave on the 28th and I'd be good to go. What she clearly forgot and I still can't get my head around is that I would gain a day traveling and actually get here before I left on the 28th. So all that put me here a night early, grubby, hungry, and exhausted. The hotel was great. They gave me their last room, charged me a discounted rate, and never once said I was an idiot or stupido touristo. I hit the bed at about midnight and slept until they called me at noon the next day and asked if they could move me to a better room for the rest of my stay.
More adventure and surprises yet to come...adios amigos.