Peru: Day 1
We woke up around 5:00 am (okay I got up at 5:20 am) and started getting ready to head to the airport. We requested an Uber shortly before 6:00 am. Trevor soon arrived and we set off. He stated that he had been driving slowly because there was a lot of debris in the roads from the night before. To be fair, there were a lot of large branches down on the backroads. However, we quickly learned that he drove slow even when the roads were clear. Like 30-in-a-50 slow. We made it to the airport around 7:30 am. Close to an hour and a half later. There was some typical morning commute traffic that had slowed us down as well.
Regardless, we had checked in for our flights online so we went straight to security with our mobile boarding passes. There was absolutely no line and we made it through security in about 2 minutes. We think that might be a record for us. The gate for our flight was E8 and was conveniently right at the end of the security line. We grabbed a seat and dropped our bags.
Rob went to use the restroom and when he returned I got an alert that our flight had been delayed 1 hour and 24 minutes from 9:21am to 10:45 am departure to Panama City. This likely means that we will miss our connection in Panama City to Lima. We inquired about options for the next leg of the trip at the gate and the attendant explained that her supervisor would be in shortly to explain to everyone how this will be handled. Soon enough, a man appeared at the desk and started to make an announcement. He explained that the flight was delayed due to an ill crew member and the need to have time to bring in someone else to make the flight possible. He explained that there is a team in Panama City that helps with missed connections and they will not rearrange flight schedules until the flight takes off from Boston. Depending on how the flight path is we could arrive a little early and potentially make the connection. In other words, we’ll take off late but they’re going to mash the motor to try and get to Panama as ASAP as possible, and maybe we’ll catch our original flight.
The delay also meant that the Sweeneys actually had a fighting chance to make the flight! We texted them about the delay and the fact that there was no line at security. We got a reply at 8:18 am that they were on their way to the airport from the expedited passport center. They got new passports in 45 minutes! They made a questionably legal commute to Logan International Airport. Luckily, our friend Ryan lives near the airport, and he kindly took an Uber to the airport to pickup their car to save them the time and cost of parking. It had been a whirlwind 24 hours but they made it to the airport in time for the flight! They even had time to spare so that they could grab some food. So far things were working out for us.
We boarded the flight and got our seats. Shaun and Jenny were in 6A and 6B and Rob and I were in 6E and 6F. The flight was fairly smooth overall. I watched couple of movies, Maleficent and Isn’t It Romantic. Rob watched Cirque du Soleil. We were served breakfast on board, even though it was around lunchtime at this point. We both opted for the waffles which also came with a fruit cup, yogurt, and a dinner roll.
Towards the end of our flight, our estimated time of arrival was 3:10 pm local time in Panama City. Our connecting flight to Lima was scheduled to leave at 3:45 pm. Perhaps we could make it! We pulled up our mobile boarding passes to have them ready to go. I had been using the Copa app on my phone. When I pulled up my boarding pass it displayed a pass for an evening flight that was scheduled to leave around 6:30 pm and would arrive in Lima at 10:30 pm. So at this point we figured they just assumed we wouldn’t make it and put us on the next flight. We decided to try anyway. The gate was set to close at 3:36 pm. Time to hustle.
We got off the plane as quickly as possible and soon learned we were in terminal 2. We needed to be at Gate 111 in terminal 1. We silently agreed to sprint to the gate. We all began running and the boys quickly passed us to go on ahead. You know those moving sidewalks that they have at the airports? They had a bunch of those. But, inconveniently, none of them were working. I quickly tired of running. I don’t love cardio and it’s even more difficult while wearing jeans and carrying all of your belongings. Luckily, the guys made it to the gate and it was still open. Jenny and I made it with a few minutes to spare. With a quick glance at our passports, we were allowed to board. Once on the plane we discovered that our seats were occupied. Likely, they had been given away when we had been scheduled for the next flight. After several minutes we were instructed by the crew to occupy new seats. Rob and I wound up in 33B and 33E. Both middle seats in the last row of the plane. Lovely. At least we were on the flight. It is supposed to be 3 hours and 10 minutes air time. We departed a little later than expected. Perhaps that was due to our late arrival. Sorry fellow fliers!
The flight was sweaty and cramped, but uneventful. They served us dinner of beef hot pocket and a carrot salad. It was disappointing, but whatever. The pirouline cookies were delicious though. Once in Lima, we stood on the plane for so long waiting to get off. The back row is the worst spot to be. When we finally got out, we made our way to the ground transportation area. We paid for a taxi to our accommodations for the night, a few miles away from the airport at Tupac Hostel. We were done travelling for the day, but not done travelling.
We checked into the hostel and bought a beer. Cusquena. It was okay. Shaun, Mandy and I split it. It did not last long. After we dropped our bags in our room, we went back down to the street in search of food. We popped into a few restaurants, trying to find something we all agreed on. We finally found a good option at Diego’s, or something like that. But when we tried to order, he was basically like “All we have left is chicken, sorry”. But we wanted pork chops, too. So, we left. We ended up coming across a little plaza of street food vendors, and ordered a couple plates that we had no idea about, by just pointing at a menu. I was given a plate of spaghetti with a chicken drumstick and fried bananas. Shaun was given nothing, until we reiterated the order. Then he received a dish of rice, goat, fried potatoes and fried bananas. I was jealous. While mine was good, his looked fantastic. We were also given a lemon and anise tea, or something? I’m not really sure, but it was pretty good. After we finished all the food and were done watching the street dogs play, we paid and left. The total for two large plates full of food was S/12 or approximately US$4. A steal! We made our way back to the hostel and went to bed pretty much immediately. It was about 10:15pm
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.