So here we are again. And just to make us feel right at home, England cancelled the sunshine and turned on the rain for us. Well, it is a Bank Holiday weekend so I guess it was to be expected! Ours was a long and virtually sleepless journey to get back home but we couldn't have had a warmer welcome from Glynn's folks and his brother Lee at the bus depot in Birmingham. There's nothing like finishing a 2 day epic journey by stepping off a crowded bus, seeing some of your favourite people smiling up at you and pulling you into a big bear hug.
Our trip home began with an expensive taxi ride in Buenos Aires at 9.30am. At the airport, we were peeved to find that the international departure taxes weren't included in our One World ticket. To exacerbate our annoyance, we didn't quite have enough dollars remaining to pay the US$18 fee per person and had to make a trip to the ATM but it would only dish out $50 notes. Then, when we worked out it would be 112 Pesos, we tried withdrawing local currency from the machine only to be told it only dispensed 100 Peso notes! The last thing we needed was to be left with a load of foreign money for a country we were leaving so we fished around our souvenir money and ended up spending that on the tax. A nice farewell to Argentina, wouldn't you say?
We then got to experience flying long distance with Iberia. Now, we had been expecting a terrible service but actually we found the flight to be fine. The in-flight entertainment could have been better but overall it was not the nightmare experience other travellers had warned us about.
Our flight took us as far as Madrid, where we had an almost 3 hour wait between flights. This is where things got stupid. First of all, when our hand luggage was scanned through, we were both asked to step aside for closer inspection. Apparently you are only permitted 100ml of fluid in your hand luggage so Glynn's aerosol deodorant which was labelled as 160ml but almost empty was confiscated as was my little bit of soda water I had been carrying since Buenos Aires. I got a bit irate with the security guard for being such a jobsworth until Glynn reminded me not to push it with someone who could stop us leaving the country. We then had to wait for 3 hours with nothing to drink as we had no Euros on us. Grrrr.
On the Madrid flight, things didn't improve when we discovered that we would have to pay if we wanted anything to eat or drink over the two and half hours . The cheek! I know that budget airlines like Easyjet don't include in-flight meals but I certainly didn't expect it of Iberia! Needless to say we were almost dying of thirst by the time we reached England.
Our bags came through quickly and we managed to jump on an earlier National Express bus to London than anticipated but alas it was so busy in London that we couldn't get a standby seat up to Birmingham. While we were waiting for our bus, to my complete surprise we bumped into Claire who I used to work with in Norwich. It was Claire who inspired me to travel to Bolivia. It was so great to see a friendly face in the midst of all the Bank Holiday travel madness. It's a small world after all!
All in all, we couldn't shake the feeling that all the petty little bad things that kept happening to us on our return to England were really trying to tell us we shouldn't be coming back here. Still, we made home it safe and sound and we can't wait to see you all again. Thanks again for joining in our adventures online. We want to see as many people as we can so please drop us an email with your phone number and address and we'll be round to see you as soon as we can! Hopefully we've inspired some of you to get packing and go see the world - iIf we have, please don't go anywhere without taking us with you too!!
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