Dear Family and Friends,
Chuck and I got our new year off on a good start. We went to Rio, Brazil for Carnival and spent a week in Salta, Argentina on our way home.
We did this by booking a Celebrity cruise from Buenos Aires to Rio. The cruise ship docked in Rio for three days and then returned to Buenos Aires. Of course we stopped at ports along the way going and returning, but the main purpose was for the passengers to be in Rio during Carnival.
I have lots of photos to share. Unfortunately, I was not able to post to the blog as we were traveling. I am compiling all the photos and will share it as we saw it.
We flew from Cuenca to Guayaquil on Thursday afternoon, January 29th. We spent the night there and flew out of Guayaquil for Buenos Aires, Argentina the next morning. From the very start of this trip we had adventure (I use this term loosely). In order to get to Buenos Aires we had to fly to Santiago, Chile. There we were to change planes and arrive in Buenos Aires before dark.
This is where our adventure began. Both of us mentally imagined Santiago to be due south of Ecuador. We are seasoned travelers and have no excuse for this type of thinking. We ASSUMED we had a long layover in Santiago so we had a nice leisurely lunch in a restaurant in the airport. We window shopped in the duty free and sauntered to our gate of departure. We were plenty early...one hour before time of departure. When we arrived, the gate was empty of waiting passengers. The employees at the desk informed us that our plane left an hour ago. This is when we learned that Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina are in the same time zone (which is two hours ahead of Ecuador). Rule #1 when traveling is to set your watch to the local time as soon as you arrive in a new location.
We went to the LAN desk and told them we missed our flight. They looked at us and asked why? When I told them we did not realize that Santiago was two hours ahead of Ecuador their eyes rolled back. I am sure they have heard this before. There was no sympathy from them.
The next available flight LAN had to Buenos Aires did not leave until 2pm the next day. We were in Chile, our luggage was on its way to Argentina.
We had to buy new (last minute, therefore expensive) tickets from Santiago to Buenos Aires. We sheepishly handed over the credit card knowing that we were in the wrong and should have known better.
By now we were physically and mentally exhausted. Lucky for us, there was a nice hotel attached to the airport. We went into the lobby and inquired if they had room. YES, they could accommodate us. They even offered us a late check out.
The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast, checked out about noon and walked across the skybridge to the airport with our carry on luggage. After going through security we went directly to our boarding area and did not take our eyes off the boarding desk.
Our flight to Buenos Aires was uneventful. We had no problem locating our luggage when we arrived. We took a taxi to our hotel. We had our complimentary drink and then set out to find dinner. We stayed in the theater district and there were many restaurants to choose within a block or two of our hotel.
I am so happy that Chuck had planned for us to have a free day in Buenos Aires. As it turned out we did not get the free day, but we were there in plenty of time to board our ship the next day.
Here is a picture I made of Chuck when we were flying from Cuenca to Guayaquil. For some reason after our adventure took a wrong turn I was not thinking of taking pictures.
That is enough drama for now, I will share more about our trip in the next post.