Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov 11th, aka the worst day ever

So let me just say that EVERYTHING that can go wrong for a traveler did today.

Our flight out to Patagonia was at 8:40 am. We took a taxi to the airport and arrived at 7:40. Perfect timing! Now let me just say one thing. Nicole had me make the reservations while at home. I only knew of one airport, code of EZE, so I thought that was the one that I used. However, when my lovely daughter asked me a couple of days ago which airport and I said EZE, she didn´t believe me because "all" domestic flights are out of Newberry aiport. I looked at the printout of the reservation, and it said Buenos Aires, Pistarini. Not EZE so I played along. This brings us back to the morning of our flight. At 7:40 we checked in to the airport - Newberry. The lovely lady behind the counter said "wrong airport". No discussion from her about what needed to happen. Let me just put this all in perspective. This would be like showing up at the Oakland aiport only to find out that you were flying out of SFO! I (who doesn´t speak spanish) asked my daughter (who doesn´t like confronting people) to "kindly" ask the "nice" lady what the HELL were we to do? She said they can rebook you on a flight at the other aiport.
So we ran to a taxi, told him our flight leaves in 1 hour, and please get us there. After spending $220 pesos (rip off) to get the EZE (also known as Pistarini) airport, we arrived at about 8:39 only to be told too late! We asked about other flights. Guess what? There were other flights - out of Newberry aiport!
We spent another $70 pesos to take a bus to Newberry. They had booked us on a 4 PM flight but said we could try to get on the 12:00. No luck.
To kill some time I decided to call the hostel that we were staying at in El Calafate to let them know when we were arriving. I had booked it online at Nicole´s apartment and wrote down the reservation number and circled the hostel name in my book. The hostel I called said "we don´t have a reservation for you". They put us down for 2 beds. And, they were kind enough to book us for a 7 am trip to the glaciers the next day.
We were on standby for the 2:00 flight. FINALLY! We got on. I asked about our luggage. "No problem"
Have you ever been at the luggage claim when everyone else has left and there are no more bags to be had? Some how our luggage didn´t make it. So ALL the warm clothes I had bought and brought for the glacier hike were not there. They said perhaps it will arrive tonight.
We made it to the hostel. They were SO kind and helpful. I used their internet and found out that I did have a reservation for 2 nights, but it was at a different hostel. We didn´t want to leave this hostel at this point, so I think I´ll end up with charges for 2 places!
We spent a lot of time this evening calling the aiport -still no luggage. We decided to rent clothing for the ice trek. The airport is suppose to reimburse us up to $100 pesos. Nicole´s luggage finally arrives. We are running (literally) around the streets of El Calafate: rent clothing, get money from the bank, get groceries, buy tickets for our next bus trip. Back to the hostel to make dinner and take a warm shower. Still no luggage for me! To bed at 11:30. We have to be ready at 7 am for a trek on the glaciers!

Two days of bad luck. I can´t get any worse - we hope!!

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