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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Leaving Europe - by Ady

After saying our goodbyes in Madrid, we headed to the airport. This time the packs were adjusted and almost bearable... although Sam still needs to loose a few pounds (the rucksack that is!)

We flew Air Europa (we'd never heard of them either, but for £220 to Brazil, it had to be worth a punt!) not knowing what to expect. At check-in we were given a letter to say that due to a shortage of aircraft, the flight had been subcontracted out to a different airline to minimise disruption and delay, and that Air Europa hoped we would find the other airline satisfactory.

Not knowing what to expect on out 'alternative airline' we thought we'd better prepare for the 9 hour flight with some food. After being robbed the Spanish airport prices (Travel Tip #1 - Always buy food before you get to Spanish airports - I should have remembered being stung €1.60 for a bag of crisps once before in one!), we headed the long walk to the gate...
When we got to the gate, our Executive Learjet awaited us and we were showed to our private suite, with double bed and champagne waiting...

When we woke up after falling asleep and daydreaming while waiting at the gate, we looked out of the window of the terminal and saw the Air Comet (we'd never heard of them either either!) plane which seemed a bit small to get as far as Brazil... Thoughts of refueling stops midway and arriving in Salvador a day late crossed our minds...

Then the tannoy in spanish, but including the words 'Weightman' and 'White' somewhere in the message, made us both look at each other - so I went up to the desk to see what they wanted. After a close examination of just my passport, they gave it back to me and said no more. Wierd.
The flight wasn't too bad actually - we got to Salvador on time at least. ^


When we got through the airport, we were greeted by the heaviest rain storm that I have ever experienced! Steam was literally rising from the tarmac! Luckily our taxi that the hostel had arranged for us picked us up right outside the door...

I wouldn't normally bore you all with the taxi ride, but it is worth a mention... about 30 mins in, on a deserted strip of road there was a loud bang and a strong smell of burning rubber... We ground to a halt by the side of the road... The driver looked puzzled, and didn't speak english. Given we wanted to get to our room as soon as possible, i jumped out of the car and showed him how to change a tyre :-) Luckily I had a torch, otherwise we would have been there till the morning!

Finally we made it to the hostel, and had a good nights sleep... Now the adventure can really begin!

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