Adam's Travel Blog

Back in Buenos Aires

Oh what a night! Two flights, Ecuador to Peru, then, Peru to Argentina

First flight went okay, second flight, tad bumpy but all’s well until we reached Argentina’s capital.

Where the glittering lights of the city should have been, all I could see out of the tiny window was a thick smudge of orange. Scattered beyond the city limits, small towns and villages shone brightly. A thick low fog (smog?) had blanketed Buenos Aires, but quite literally, only the city, the surrounding areas were clear.

As we came in to land it was obvious the fog only reached as far as the tree tops, as tall buildings and the tallest trees poked up through the mist and were crystal clear. As the plane decended to tree level and the landing lights of the runway were just a few metres directly below us, the plane roared back into action and lunged forward and up. We lunged back and down in to our seats (Wow, Mr Einstein was right!) We climbed high back in to the city skies and was put into a holding pattern for about 30 minutes.

The captain informed us that conditions were not right and we would try again.

We did try again and this time we were engulfed in the fog before the engines roared back in to action and the plane climbed back in to the sky for a second time.

The captain came back on the intercom “the runway is not up to our standards, we land at another airport, thank you for your comprehension”. I think the Spanish version was much more comprehensive, but that’s what you get for not speaking the first language!

We landed at the small city airport rather than the out-of-town international airport.

I believe they must have scrambled for immigration and customs officers as the airport was not expecting any international flights. One officer cleared a winding queue of 300 people. It took a LONG time.

I, however, was not worried, as I had all the time in the world. We landed, finally, at 4:30am the fog having delayed us for two hours. This was good, as I didn’t have accommodation booked for the night of arrival, only the night of the day of arrival (does that make sense?).

My hostel wouldn’t really open until early morning (socially early morning, not 4am early morning) So I just pottered around the airport. Once I cleared immigration, collected my bags and cleared customs, it was only 5:15am. So I sat myself at a cafe and watched the world go by for about three hours in the arrivals lounge.

I love airports, always have. For me I’ve only ever been to airports for holidays and my travels. I am either off to somewhere exciting, or returning after a long time away from home and both types of trips makes me happy. Being in the airport reminds me how lucky I am.

Usually as soon as you arrive, you leave the airport, but on this occasion, I just sat and watched. Without wishing to sound like the opening lines of the film “Love Actually” watching the arrivals at the airport is a very heart-warming experience. So many smiles, hugs and tears of loved ones arriving home or visiting for a holiday.

Finally, I got in a taxi and made my way to the hostel only to find they have a 24-7 reception … ARSE!