Plane day – day 119 (29th March)

‌What to say about yesterday, day 119 of our epic journey through the Americas, and the first day of the next huge chapter of our travels. In some ways, it was quite an interesting day, as thanks to our unique method of travelling, we had guaranteed ourselves at least 24 hours either on a plane, or in an airport, which some might see as a very extraordinary, and yes, ‘interesting’, and to those people I say ‘amen’. However, I’m guessing to most people our predicament was just plain idiotic, and that a whole day spent travelling around a shockingly small area, with a handful of airports in between, promises to muster up abosultely nothing of anything that could possible be described as ‘interesting’. Thankfully for me, I still have the ability to switch back to my 12 year old self, and that lad happens to love planes, airports, and anything to do with planes and airports, more than 18 year old me still does. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change the fact that the next few paragraphs really aren’t going to be very fascinating or entertaining, or ‘interesting’ whatsoever, but lets face it, I can’t please everyone.

As I mentioned in my last blog, whilst crushing my eyes out, we made it onto our first of four flights pretty swiftly and easily, and although we were a little confused by the checkout lady that told us we would need to collect our bags and check them in again at Mexico City, we just assumed she was extremely uneducated and had just got it wrong, meaning we could enjoy our free alcoholic beverages, and the pasta, in complete peace and harmony and then attempt to get some essential nap time that could prove vital in our fight for survival over the next horrific amount of hours. However, upon awakening to the painful beams of light that some fucker had turned on, our heart beats were soon gifted some unwanted energy by the news that anyone planning on catching a connecting flight MUST go through the painful experience of waiting for ones bag, checking in said bag, and then must battle their way through security again. We quickly brainstormed but failed to come up with anyway around this, and so with our next flight a matter of hours away, we scuttled our way through the hideously and typically long corridors of the airport, and then attempted to figure out how the Mexican system worked. It was never going to be easy.

As you can imagine, the queues were classically long and moved at a drunk snails pace, but with a good, or bad, hour to spare, we had made it through security and its infamous traffic light system (i’ll talk about that a bit more later) and into the grateful arms of the Mexico City duty free. This called for the first of many lunches throughout the day, and after deciding to play it safe and go with a ham sandwich instead of a Mexican creation, we were chilling out once more with the luxury of wifi. Cue the first of many Snapchats from yours truly. The time went slow, but eventually we worked out that if we considered staying in the airport for another 12 hours and catching our last flight straight to Baja California, and then went on a long and painful search of someone with the power to let us do such a thing, we could pass the minutes like they were seconds, and eventually we were on our next flight, which was to LA.

I won’t bore you with he details, but the flight went as follows: we took off, I enjoyed the incredible views of Mexico City from my carefully arranged window seat, we all enjoyed a nice fruit salad, we passed over some fairly unenjoyable Mexican desert, I enjoyed the fantastic views of the gigantic city of LA, and then we landed. Once again, we had to go through immigration and do the while process once more, but this time we had to face the devil that is the USA’s death squad, or immigration officers as most people would know them. I faired alright, as after getting split up from El, who finally got see some advantage of having the moral burden of an American passport, and then Benj, who got sent into a different queue to me as he had a big fat X on his ‘magic’ sheet of paper, I breased through the system with only a minor accident in the pants department after I had been quickly interregoted by the scariest looking officer of the three that were working for the devil at the time. I then met El and retrieved our bags before Benj had even got through, so we joined cleverly joined the queue in expectation that our third amigo would be joining us very soon. As you can probably guess, he didnt, and as the minutes until our next flight ticked by, and we got further down the queue towards freedom, there was still no sign of him. We were eventually forced to leave the line and go find him, but El was quickly chucked back down the stairs by some officers, leaving us with the difficult decision of whether to ditch our friend and save ourselves, or wait for him and possibly be stuck in the airport forever. Admirably, we waited for him, and just as I had crept up the stairs to the immigration desks without getting caught, I clocked Benj just about to get through, and as it happened, he had just been caught up in a very lions and tedious queue, and hadn’t been arrested and cavity searched by Lucifer himself.

The next mission of this particular section of the journey, which left us with extreme hatred and anger for the LAX airport, involved a very difficult search for the check in desks that had been so awfully signposted that they may as well have been on the other side of the world, and we probably would have still found them easier. A sense of panic soon slowly started to arise, but after a swift run and some professional trolley driving and people dodging, we found the desks and were then ready to face the might of the airport security once again. This really finished me off, and even dented my love for airports quite severely, as the horrible shouting of instructions by the officers, and the violation of my feets rights, was just not a nice experience. Furthermore, as a youth, I’ve come to expect and accept abuse from my seniors, but in front of me was a pregnant lady, with a baby in her arms and another child beside her, and yet the security still felt inclined to make her life hell and talk to her like she was a inferior human being. At one point, I’m pretty sure they asked her to put her baby though the bag scanner. I know terrorism is on the up, and security is absolutely essential, but they just took the piss, and I hate people that take the piss. I’m going to remember you, middle aged man with a fat belly and a soon to be bald head.

Nevertheless, we were soon through security and duty free, and after a few hours we were on the next flight back to Mexico City. This journey was arguably one of the best, as we were in the special seats that meant we had infinite leg room and two windows, although it did give us extra responsibility in the event that the plane crashed and we somehow survived. The journey went fairy quickly though, with most of the time spent filling in yet more immigration forms, and watching a few more episodes of the Big Bang Theory. We were therefore feeling good, but our confidence was quickly demolished in the Mexico airport, as after yet another slow process of going through the same immigration we had trundled through a matter of hours ago, we were then held up by the dreaded baggage lights. This was because Benj had tried to beat the system and strategically waited until someone got the red light which meant that they had to be searched, thinking that it surely wouldn’t be red twice. He was wrong, and had to unpack his expertly packed bag whilst me and El enjoyed watching him unpack his expertly packed bag. This didn’t take too long though, and we were then back in the same spot we had sat in during our last tedious wait, eating yet another lunch, this time from Subway.

Despite our impressive success in getting this far with no massive problems, the inevetible drama soon came, in the form of a lost immigration form that is essential when traveling anywhere other than into the dangerous city of the Mexican capital, but surprisingly it actually wasn’t me. El had left it on a book shelf whilst browsing the latest in Mexican literature, but accidentally let it fall down the back of the shelf, rendering it lost forever. Whilst he went off in a slight panic to get a new one, me and Benj went through the standard procedure of deciding whether to leave him behind in aid of our own travels in the case he didnt make it back in time, but thankfully we didnt have to make the horrible decision to abandon him, as he came joyfully trotting back with a good half hour to spare. This meant we got on our last flight with no problems, and after possibly the best nap I have had/will ever have, we made it San Jose and pretty much our final destination. We went through security and immigration one last time, we found Eliots dad, Alec, we flopped into his car, and we drove to our beds for the night. We arrived to our incredible temporary accomadation in a few sleepy hours, and Ill talk about the ‘huevos’ more in my next blog, but the important thing to know was that we had made it in all three pieces to our beds, and had finally reached Baja California.

The whole process of travelling had took pretty much 30 hours, spread out over four flights, three countries and four time zones. We had gone though customs and security eight times, had about five different lunches, I had posted nearly ten snapchats, and we had altogether got no more than five hours sleep. And yet, against all odds, we had made it to Baja California and the next chapter of Los Tres Amigos’ big adventure. And for that reason, I proudly present the three of us with the shoutout for this day, although we only just beat AeroMexico, as fairplay, their planes are pretty nice and make British airways look pretty shit. Take note, Mr Ownerofbritishairways.

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