In the past twelve years, all of my major trips (not counting the east coast or Canada) have been on cruise ships. On such trips, there are always “days at sea” where you don’t put down anchor at a port, but instead sort of slowly drift from yesterday’s destination to tomorrow’s. Wednesday was a day like that for us. Our flight out of Merida didn’t leave until 1:30 pm, so we had time to sleep in (I slept in until 6:30!), have breakfast, shower and pack up, and take our time with it.
The flight back to Mexico City was pretty uneventful, especially given our previous late flight karma. We arrived in Mexico City already ticketed through to Lima, and the woman outside the gate pointed us down a long hallway that in retrospect I think was the connecting hallway between terminals 1 and 2. Once there, we had to go through security again, and ended up in the familiar terminal we had spent a couple hours in two days earlier.
We went to the bathroom and made our way to our gate, which was thankfully already assigned, then took turns shopping and wandering around. During Deborah’s turn to wander and mine to guard the bags, I took the opportunity to straighten up the items in my carry-on bag and discovered I could not find my passport and boarding pass. I had to grab my own bag and Deborah’s, and both our coats and water bottles and retrace my steps. I glanced around for Deborah on my way hoping she could relieve me of her bags. I knew I grabbed my boarding pass and passport when going through security, then remembered I set them aside in the toilet stall with a mental note at the time not to forget them there. When I looked in that stall, however, they were gone. I tried to ask the cleaning lady if she had perhaps set them aside, but I couldn’t communicate my question. Another bathroom patron translated, but the woman knew nothing. The other patron suggested I try information.
There were two information booths, each about equidistant from the bathroom, so I just chose one and hobbled over to it. I told the man there my problem, and he gestured over a colleague to take me on a cart to the other information booth, where the girl had my documents waiting. The boy in the cart drove me back to the first information booth instead of my gate (urgh), and so I hobbled back all the way there. Deborah wandered up. She’d come back to find me gone and went looking for me in the closest restroom, then was worried when I wasn’t in it.
We sat down and chit-chatted casually, watching the flight at the gate next to us queue up. As I watched them, I saw several identical Peru t-shirts in the line, and leapt up to ask the man checking boarding passes if this was the flight to Lima. It was, so we raced to get in line. Eesh, through one thing or another, I could be writing this from Mexico City, but I’m not.
The flight to Lima was six hours and typical of such flights, with the hot meal and the crying baby and the inevitable need to crawl over a perfect stranger to go to the bathroom at least once.
When we landed in Lima, it was already 11:30 pm. Then we had to go through customs and baggage claim. It took about half an hour before we saw our bags. We hadn’t had a chance to go to the bathroom yet, but charged out to find our driver anyway. We had been put up in a hotel “overnight” and it was at least half an hour from the airport and we had a 3:30 am lobby call for the flight to Cusco. Well, I don’t have to do the math showing you how absurd this was. It was after midnight when we got into the driver’s car, then we had the ride to the hotel, checking in, and maybe a two-hour “nap” opportunity before the next driver came to take us back to the airport. As you’d expect with Murphy’s Law of Insomniacs, I didn’t fall asleep right away.
We checked in our bags again, went through security again, sat at the gate again, and had a short flight to Cusco.