The last time we went to Miami was the day after the big storm in 1990 when we dodged blocked roads to make our flight, yesterday was deja vu. After not being able to sleep on Friday night due to the noise of the storm winds it was rather tentatively that we set off avoiding fallen trees to weave a path to Heathrow or to use its other name “the building site with its own airport”
Stage one complete and we made it in time to join the other thousands of travellers wedged inside the airside departure lounge. We seemed to find ourselves enveloped by children, in blue hoodies with “Guiness World Record Attempt” on their backs. They were from, Priestlands School Lymington and are travelling all the way to New York to attempt the world record for the highest number of Shakespeare quotes spoken in five minutes. The funny side of this was that listening to them speak was a foreign language with “Like” contributing every other word, I wonder what the great bard would have made of this new language.
Our big worry on this flight was the connection from Miami to Guayaquil and taking off twenty minutes late started alarm bells ringing. With 150mph headwinds it looked as though we would miss our transfer and Kaye spoke to the stewardess who phoned ahead and requested a golf cart to transfer us. Given the distance to immigration this was the only possible way to make it and after being put through the diplomatic immigration line we made the flight so a big thank you to Virgin.
Arriving at Guayaquil to torrential rain and 80F temperature was a novel new experience and the need for air conditioning was immediately clear so it made for an interesting choice when we arrived at our hotel to be told they had a slight problem in that the we had a choice of rooms, one without air conditioning or the other without a door, for the sake of security we suffered a warm night but not before getting a text from Pat and Stuart telling us that they had booked us into a hotel in Galapagos when we arrive as Brizo had been evicted from the anchorage until it had the hull cleaned, so they are 70 miles offshore waiting for divers to scrub the hull. They were one of sixteen boats in breach of new regulations that no one had been told about.
Ecuador is a strange country, big on bureaucracy. On arrival after collecting our luggage we had to stand in a queue (they like queues) to have the luggage scanned to leave the airport !!, Beauraucraucy reared its head again on our departure to San Cristobal, we had to queue for a transit control card and told we could not board the aircraft without but after half an hour they decided the computer had broken down so ignore that regulation and complete it at your destination!!
Our Airbus 320 touched down at San Cristobal on the very short runway and after landing formalities and handing over $200 entry fee we put feet up with a beer to await news of Brizo’s bottom.