This Is The End My Friend

If you are departing from the Lima Airport, leave plenty of time. My cab took almost 30 minutes and went through some nasty looking areas, so be sure to have your hotel find the cab. The cabs they recommend are safe. The established price is 35 soles or $15 US, so it works out to be less expensive if you use Peruvian money.

As soon as my taxi stopped, a porter with a pushcart approached, loaded my bags, and found the Delta counters. Without him, I could never have done it on my own. Picture 100 yards of computer monitors, no easily spotted signage, and hordes of people. Ascertaining we were at Delta, the porter switched my bags to a hand cart and I was set.

The Delta part of the process was quick and easy, everything else took time. I won’t bore you with details, but it was around 10 PM and a lot of people were waiting for arrivals. To get to the departure gates, my hand cart had to make a path through the crowd, which I, eyes straight ahead, followed. The first stop was to join a line to pay the airport exit tariff of $30.25. The next line funneled through police control. Another line for immigration, and finally a line to go through security.

Our plane was due to leave at 1:25 AM. It was slightly delayed, but we were all aboard and ready to fly by 2. Oops, not quite; two passengers had checked their bags, but not boarded the airplane. (Probably still in one of those lines.) Their bags had to be removed and removed quickly before we could leave, as the airport closed at 2:30 AM. Once it closed, that was it until the next day. They did find the bags, removed them, and we started our runway roll at 2:29.

Delta service is getting better and better. The staff is really trying. Our Captain was walking the business class aisles before we left Lima, handing out headsets to anyone who didn’t have a pair. Flight attendants were actually scurrying as they served breakfast before we landed in Atlanta. Going through customs in Atlanta and reshipping the bags was a breeze and the process in Atlanta should be studied by Newark and JFK.

The baggage in Atlanta from the single flight was deposited on two adjacent baggage claim belts. I stood at one end between the carousels, so I could easily check bags on each side as they were conveyed past the turn. In the midst of all the confusion, I noticed someone doing dance steps. It was Huey, a Distinguished Gent!!

To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke, a blog is CB radio with computer keys. I remember when I got my first CB Radio, and I’m sure I’ll remember this, my first blog. Thank you for reading this cruise saga. It’s been fun for me to take you along. But I have to go now; I’m home, and it’s time to take out the garbage.p1010056.JPG

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