Well, we're currently in Lima right now. We were supposed to be in Ica, visiting a desert oasis, but unfortunately, Taca airlines had other plans for us.
We left our hotel in Puno (near Lake Titicaca) yesterday morning around 8:30am and arrived at the airport at about 10am for our 11:45am flight. No problems with our bags, got through security fine, and even found a couple seats at the gate. Everything seemed dandy. However, we ended up waiting about 3 hours while watching airline employees conduct inspections on our plane just outside the large glass windows. Not very comforting. During these stressful 3 hours, some employees brought out drinks and snacks to the angry awaiting passengers. Finally, they told us that we would not be leaving on that plane (I was thankful for that since obviously 3 hours wasn't enough to figure out the issues). We had to go out and get our bags and then return to the ticket agent to be put on another flight. I went straight to the desk while Frank waited for the bags, since it was a full flight and I knew not everybody would be getting on the next flight out. We had tickets for a bus leaving Lima at 6pm, but it was already too late for those :(
I patiently waited, as the stress seeped into my lower back and the others around me got increasingly angry. Finally I got up to the desk and the guy made us reservations for a flight the next morning, and they were in the process of making hotel reservations for us. When all of a sudden another guy came out to make an announcement. We had the option, initially, to take a flight the next morning or wait and see about a late night flight that night. Well, they changed that (after giving tickets to some people) and said that they "rescheduled" our flight for 12:30am, meaning we no longer had any choice and had to wait in the airport until then...bummer!
After a bit of arguing and "fighting" for our rights, we didn't get far, but eventually Frank's pity story saved us. I was beyond upset about the whole situation and sick of being crammed between people arguing with the employees, so Frank took over and argued a bit and told the guy about our bus tickets, our hotel reservations, and that it wasn't fair to make us arrive to the airport at 1:30am without any hotel reservations or anything and that we would have to sleep on the floor. Not cool. Well, the guy certainly did take pity on us and reserved us a room at the airport hotel in Lima. We were unsure as to the validity of this, but we were hopeful.
Even though the airline told us food would be coming for us all, we still bought something in the airport restaurant (the only one there) because we were hungry and we didn't know if this would also fall through. We chatted with others, played cards, and got a little stir crazy, but we finally went back through security and found some seats at the gate (deja vu!). We started getting a little worried when we saw the same plane sitting outside with no lights on and no airline employee around. As others started to get a little antsy, an employee came and said we would be leaving shortly. It all seemed strange since n. othing changed outside, but a little bit later, we heard a loud sound and the new plane landed outside. Everybody cheered, and I definitely had a sigh of relief since we would be using a completely different plane. I hope they trash that other one or something--it worries me a bit.
Anyway, we got to Lima around 1:30am, grabbed our bags, and were escorted to the Ramada Inn at the airport, as in across the little walkway, basically attached to the airport. We checked in and I glanced over to the price sheet which noted that a double room, which we were given, was priced at $329.00 a night! Yikes! It was a nice hotel with tons of security, but I don't think it was necessarily worth $330! Oh well, it was just fine for us haha The beds, sheets, blankets, and pillows were heavenly soft, and the bathroom amenities were from an aromatherapy collection. Maybe that's where they came up with the room price! The buffet breakfast in the morning wasn't too shabby either--they had 4 different types of milk for cereal, yogurts, juices, bacon, sausage, breads, and even quiche! I could certainly get used to all that--did you hear that Dad?? ;)
After our 10 hours of luxury were over (yes, we stayed until the noon checkout so we could soak up every minute of the nice hotel), we took a tax over to Carolina's condo. She has quite a nice place here and we just relaxed a bit today. We are bummed that our other trip didn't work out, but it's nice to be here in Lima (only a taxi ride away from the airport) where we can relax a bit. Only a couple more days til we're stateside...