I am back in Quito, Ecuador now! When I bought my original ticket to South America I bought it in to and out of Quito. I later bought tickets from Quito to Lima and then from Cusco back to Quito. And now here I am, again, in Quito.
I am happy to be back. It feels like another home. But the airport this morning was a nightmare!!!!!!
My plane left at 7:40 this morning. Last night I went to my favorite bar, Km 0, where my favorite local Peruvian band was playing. And I decided to stay up all night and just sleep in the airport and on the plane the next morning, no big deal.
After a night of dancing I got to my hostel at about 3:30 this morning. I thought about sleeping but I knew that if I slept I would miss my plane. So I decided to take a shower.
It was a little over zealous of me to think there would be hot water at 3:30 in the morning.
So at around 4 I was sitting on my be in my hostel with nothing to do so I decided to just go to the airport and sleep at my gate so I would not miss my plane.
I got to the airport before it even opened and ended up having to sit outside the gate and wait with two teachers from Peru who were also very early.
Finally the airport opened at 5 but I ended up having to wait until 6 to begin to check in. Checking in was a trip.
1) I bought a didgeriedoo yesterday. It is a long instrument that makes a vibrating noise. I was planning on carrying it on the plane with me since it is fragile but the woman said I could not. She suggested I wrap it in plastic for protection. Ha! I busted out my sleeping bag and wrapped my instrument in it then plastic wrapped it.
2) My bag got searched. Inside and out. I had to take everything out of my carefully packed and stuffed backpack and let the man go through everything from my stuffed animal that Olivia sent with me to my vitamins. My clean clothes and even my dirty ones. It was a great experience. The whole time I was on the edge of laughing and crying. But just laughter came out as the airport attendant went through all the crazy things I had in my bag. haha. Having someone inspect everything you have in your bag really makes you think about what you packed.
So that was just the check-in.
One positive: I met a guy from California named Will in Cusco and we hung out togeher at Km 0 one night. We were both surprised to see eachother at the airport! He got his bag searched too. We went through the nightmare together, but his experience wasnt as bad as mine.
Next I had to go through security with my carry on bag. I got through alright. But the airport attendant scanned my bag, looked at the image and said, "There is something sharp in your bag." ****. My pocket knife. I had forgotten to put it in my bag to be checked in. ****. Before I came to South America I bought a nice little Swiss Army Knife. It was one of the best things I brought with me. I use it almost daily to cut avocado, mangos or whatever else needs cutting.
I opened my bag, took out my knife. Said (in Spanish) "This costed me $25. Do you want it? It is nice. You can have it." And with tears in my eyes I handed over my knife.
Then I found Will and he let me cry to him about losing my knife. Then I bought an Almond Joy and had a moment of peace.
Will and I were lucky enough that the seat next to him on the plane was empty so I sat there instead of my assigned number. We talked a little. Then I turned on my iPod and slept.
When the plane landed I had about half an hour until my next plane took off. And I had to go through customs because it was and international flight from Lima in Peru to Quito in Ecuador.
I got through customs alright. But the lady scanned my bag, then rescanned it. Then said there was something pokey and a man searched my bag. He took out my metal Reflexology tool that is used to stimulate reflexes with precision. It looks like a needle with a ball on the end. It really looks worse than it is. Long story short I was not allowed to have it. There was a large transparent plastic case containing all of the dangerous items that had been confiscated. The airport people were nice enough to let me throw the tool in there myself. :). So with tears in my eyes I dropped it in the case.
Then I went to Will and once again he let me cry.
Then I realized I had 8 minutes until my plane left so I ran to my terminal only to find out the flight was delayed one hour. Thank you. So I went and bought some chocolate. Chocolate. What could be better in that situation? I found a seat at my gate and ate my chocolate and let the musical expertice of James Brown and Rusted Root revive my soul.
Then I got on my plane and slept the whole way to Quito.
And now here I am. In the South American Explorers Club. Tonight I am going to find Truman (remember my travelling companion from the beginning of my journey?) and we are going to catch up before he leaves for home tomorrow.