Friday, March 28, 2008

Flight to Lima

Anyone who's traveled with me knows that I don't mind an adventure. As long as I can get some good laughs out of it!

Our flight to Lima was wonderful. But, the airport in Lima was an entirely new experience.

First, because of what I can only assume is airport construction, we didn't disembark at the terminal. Instead, the plane opened up both the front and back doors, set up some stairs, and we all deplaned and moved into two buses that took us and our carry-ons to the terminal.

Okay, so no big deal. But, then, we get to the Immigration desk, and that was an hour-long line. Seriously, folks, one hour. They had a line with barriers set up like Disneyland, and we all schlepped our stuff through the line, back and forth, back and forth, until we got to the passport checkers.

And, in this time period, we had to fill out paperwork that asked questions like my marital status, and my occupation... why does the Peruvian government care that I'm single and a journalist? But, oh well, we filled them out, and made it through.

But the adventure wasn't over. We finally get to baggage claim, and just on the other side there is a SEA of people waiting for the SEA of people coming off planes. It was like we were conquering heroes, fresh from war. People with signs with names on them... Limo drivers, taxi drivers, parents, little abuelas and a TON of children.

The children, we soon learned, were there because of some celebrity who's plane had landed about the same time as ours. I'm guessing by the decibel level that it was some boy band, but I could be wrong.

We found our driver, and after 15 minutes of "farmer engineering" we managed to cram our luggage and eight passengers into a six passenger van. I'm now awfully close with my fellow travelers.

We got to the hotel, checked in, and had four hours of sleep or so before we kicked off our long day in Peru.

Lesson for the day? Not one really. I did find out that at 1 a.m., in a crammed van, your sense of humor becomes entirely too bizarre. Oh, and sleep never feels so good as when you've been traveling all day.

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