Tuesday 17 March 2020

Brazil here I come

It’s a fairly early start. I arise at 6:30. The same time I’d get up to go to work. I leave the house a little after 7:00.

Still leaving me plenty of time before my flight. I hate being in a rush at an airport. Not good for my heart. Or blood pressure.

As is traditional. I have a couple of whiskies before boarding. Helps relax me for the stress ahead. And forget about how long the journey will be.

On the plane it’s the usual drill of crap, light films and the occasional extra red wine retrieved from the galley. I’m not going to go crazy, mind. There’s still a long way to go.

It’s a little before dusk as we descend into Sao Paolo. Light enough to see all the high-rise blocks. Like a sea of concrete wheat stretching to the horizon.

Everywhere nowadays seems to have little booths like the US ones for immigration. Though the process here is much quicker, without photograph or fingerprints. All the officers are wearing facemasks.

Bag retrieved, I begin the long trek to the domestic terminal. At the very far end of it are the GOL check-in desks. At least I don’t have to rush. I’ve still almost four hours before my connecting flight. I’m rather shocked to see a WH Smith. I didn’t realise they were that international.

I have to rejig my bag to include the duty free I got at Schiphol. That has to go in the checked-in. Which is already pretty full. I transfer some undertrollies to my rucksack, and can just about get my trolley bag closed.

Once airside, as there doesn’t appear to be a bar open, I nip into a shop and get a couple of miniatures of vodka. Then find myself a seat and switch on my laptop. And get the password wrong. Fuck. And again, and again. What the hell is it? After several more failed attempts I give up and switch it off.

Bugger, I’ll need my laptop for the judging. I really have to get it working. I try again and finally get the password right. In my defence, I only use my laptop rarely. When I’m travelling.

To reward myself, I get stuck into Peep Show series 9. That passes the time well.

When I get on the plane, I’m feeling knacked. And the trip is far from over. Two more legs to go after this. This is going to be so much fun. I’ve already been on the road for over 18 hours.

Hurray! My bag appears and pretty quickly.

It’s not hard finding the executive bus counter where I need to pick up a voucher for the transfer to Blumenau. The man talking to the young lady behind the counter looks familiar. Turns out that it’s Mike Hall, who will also be judging. I know him from a couple of years ago in Chile.

I sit on the row in front of him and his wife and we chat while we bounce through the night. By the time we arrive in Blumenau it’s after 1 AM.

Thank god there’s a taxi waiting at the bus station. I jump in and a few minutes later we pull up outside my hotel.

I go straight to bed. Just about. Pausing only for a soothing glug of Bowmore.


Grey Ghost said...

Hope you are keeping safe, and do not have travel issues thanks to the virus.

Ron Pattinson said...

Grey Ghost,

I got back from Brazil two days ago. No problem with travelling. More worried about today's flight, which is to Bahgkok.