My last week in South America was spent on a plane. On several planes for that matter.
I flew from Cusco to Lima, but before I could get on the plane, I was pulled aside to be randomly searched. I watched, almost in pain, as the officer pulled everything out of my backpack, including my dirty undies. Then she just stood back when she obviously found nothing and watched me re-pack everything she so graciously spread all over her table.
My flights from Lima to Panama City and then onto Bogotá went smoothly. Fuelled solely by plane food, I arrived into Colombia relatively unscathed and found a female taxi driver to take me to my hostel – she even wished me, “Feliz día de la mujer”, since it was international women’s day.
I was glad to be back in Colombia, but I only had a couple of days in Bogotá, since I was off home!
And what a colossal fuck-up of a disaster getting home was.
It all began with a Spirit airline flight from Bogotá to Miami. We sat on that plane for three hours. It taxied around the Bogotá airfield before dramatically pulling back into a gate to refuel. Then there was a storm and the airport was struck by lightning and had to close for twenty minutes (apparently there were near 700 lightning strikes on the city). We were then rewarded with the announcement that the flight had been cancelled, due to the pilots not being able to fly anymore. It was rescheduled for the next morning at 6am, meaning I missed my connecting flight from Miami to London.
Spirit put us up in a fancy hotel for the night, with our own rooms, which was pure luxury since I hadn’t been able to walk around in my birthday suit for a good eight months. But that didn’t make up for the fact that I wasn’t en route to England.
After another flight change, we finally took off to Fort Lauderdale in the morning, but not without me being chosen once again to be searched, although this time it was only my hand luggage contents that were pulled out for everyone to see. Once we arrived in the USA, me and a British lad rushed to sort out another flight to London, but neither Spirit or Norwegian Airlines (our connecting flight) could help us book a flight. Eventually we got one booked for Monday night, the problem being that it was only Saturday.
Luckily, we met a girl who lived in Miami and she saved our asses by coming to pick us up. We stayed with her the first night, but moved into a hostel the second night – we decided, since we were in Miami, we might as well enjoy ourselves. We went to the festival Calle Ocho and checked out the iconic South Beach, with it’s pretty pastel art deco buildings. I even saw a guy in roller skates and a small army of jacked up cars along Ocean Drive.
Hollywood Beach, Miami
Before flying, we visited Hollywood beach, where we walked along the boardwalk and met a model-turned-priest and his son. And, for the cherry on top, Norwegian Airlines upgraded us! It was an epic pitstop that made up for the clusterfuck of flight delays.