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Published: April 21st 2018
Travel for work or vacation often has it's share of challenges, flying to Peru had its share of both. We departed Toledo right on time at 8:AM for the 54 mile drive to Detroit airport. Traffic was light an the weather beautiful. I had a conference call on my work assignment and things got a little emotional. Nothing bad, my team is just so passionate about what we do that emotions came through. So the drive time flew by quickly and we arrived at 9:00 AM to the car park.
A quick bus ride and we were at the check in counter to drop off luggage. No one in line we headed right to the counter and hit our first snag. We were flying Delta to Miami and Avianca to Lima. We each had one checked bag. Unfortunately since we were not on a "THROUGH" itinerary, they would not move our bags in Miami to Avianca.
We were told we had to leave the secure area, get our bags from baggage claim, recheck-in, go through security and then board the flight. This was going to be a challenge for sure. We left Detroit on time, for once and encountered no in flight delays. We arrived Miami at 2:00 PM and our flight was to board at 3:15, giving us a little over an hour to make the swap. There was a little panic in my gut I must admit.
So I headed with Bob trailing behind, Bob is my trip roommate also from Toledo, and it was off to the races. First of all the baggage claim was as far as possible from arrival so it took 15 minutes to get there. It was now 2:15 and NO LUGGAGE at the carousel. It was not until 2:30 the first bags came off! I waited and waited for my blue and black 36 inch duffel bag to come out, but it never seemed to come. Finally it came out and I grabbed the bag and headed off.
The bad news was we were in terminal D and needed to go to terminal J, a very long way away. There was no tram and most of the moving sidewalks were not working. I took the elevator to the third floor and began the 3/4 mile trek.
For reasons that God himself only knows I stopped for a split second just to take a look at my luggage. Horror hit me and hit me hard, it was not my bag!. It was exactly the same size, color and configuration but my bag had some duck tape repair and this one did not. PANIC set in and I turned around and ran back to the elevator and back to the carousel.I arrived in a huff and low and behold my actual bag was still not there!
I quickly headed over to the far corner of the carousel and quickly dumped my not bag so the owner did not actually accost me, and proceeded to wait for my bag. Finally at 2:45 there she was, duck tape and all.I grabbed the bag, and with Bob in tow we headed back ti the third floor and the walk to J terminal.
It was a bit warm in the airport, and the run was far so I was a little hot and sweaty when I got to the check-in to drop of the luggage. Of course the guy behind the counter wanted to chat as if I had all the time in the world so I had to feign a potty need so he moved it along and checked my bag and gave me the boarding pass.
Now off to security. The lines of course were long, but I had CLEAR, a supposed quick way through the line. Unfortunately, Avianca did not subscribe to CLEAR so I was shown the end of a long line. I looked at my ticket and, thankfully, saw I was cleared for fast lane and headed to the short line. Unfortunately, this was also the line where they sent families with a bunch of kids.
The kids were running around, the parents were chasing them and I saw the clock ticking away. The line did move quickly and at 3:10 I got through the line and headed for another long walk to gate J. By now I was a little heated, a bit sweaty and thankful I caught up with Tony and Trish my fellow travelers. All was good.
The flight was called and we boarded. I was in row 9 the rest were in 35. I settled into my Aisle seat for the quiet 5 and 1/2 hour flight. Best laid plans however. The flight was anything but quiet.
It seems that ever small child on the plane was in the first 15 rows!. These kids cried, yelled and screamed for the entire flight, point to point. Sleep was next to impossible. I managed a few hours, just to make the flight seems shorter. We were treated to a very nice meal of carne, potatoes, vegetable and some local quinoa. Dessert was some almond cookies. The beer was free so I downed 2 to take the edge off.
At 8:30 PM local time we arrived Lima. Now there was a question that came up. We left Miami on eastern time. We flew SOUTH and EAST and the local time in Lima was one hour EARLIER than Miami. Now I expected that the time would be the same not earlier. I checked the time zone map on the plane and found that the time zones zig and zag all over. Why we are earlier, I do not know but there you have it.
Lima is a huge city. Crowded, noisy, loaded with traffic and one hell of a place to walk around. Our hotel looks more like a high rise apartment rather than a 5 star hotel as it is billed. We are right in the middle of the local community of apartment buildings that look exactly like our hotel so the illusion is consistent. Check in was a breeze, so we headed to the room, dropped off the bags and decided to walk about.
It was late, about 10:30 so the plan was not to stay out too long. Our guide, Raul, walked Bob and I into the town area where he pointed out a few bars, a casino and some local restaurants. Bob and I headed to this dive of a bar, and ordered the local drink called Pisco. It was made with lemon, ginger ale and alcohol that had a sweet taste, very refreshing.
Bob and I sat at the bar and bonded a bit, chatting about this and that. We watched a few of the local talent, working girls, waiting for ...well you know what they were waiting for. By 11:30 we were ready to head back to the hotel and some much needed rest. Our Saturday wake up call was scheduled for 7:00 Am and we head off at 8. See you then!
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