Up very early this morning to finish the packing and lug our bags downstairs ready to head to the airport.
Fortunately our flight wasn’t until after lunch, so we didn’t need to rush off.
Patricia picked us up mid-morning and we managed to squeeze all of our bags (and us!) into her little car.
We got to the airport with no dramas, Patricia dropped us off near the front door and we got a baggage porter to help us with our bags. After parking the car, Patricia came back to help us with the checkin process and make sure everything went smoothly.
It took nearly an hour for them to check us in – there was a problem with Nicol’s ticket. It seems that the changes that had been made by LAN when we cancelled our flight from Cali to Bogota hadn’t made it through the system completely, so they couldn’t work out what to do with Nicol. There was mention at some point of maybe needing to pay for Nicol’s ticket again, to which we reacted angrily – we had already paid quite a bit for her tickets and had no intention of doing so again! We had e-Ticket receipts clearly showing that we had paid for her flights, but it still seemed to be an issue.
Eventually, they sorted it out and gave us our boarding passes – I think next time we fly to Colombia we’ll stick to Avianca for our flights in South America – even if it costs more.
We headed up to immigration and Patricia stood near the entrance waiting for us to indicate to her that everything was okay. The immigration officer checked our documentation about Nicol’s adoption thoroughly before giving us the all-clear. We waved goodbye to Patricia and headed through security and into the departure lounge area.
We spent the wait for the flight trying to feed the kids and keep them entertained so they didn’t get too ratty. Eventually we were able to board the flight, but not before they ushered everyone out of the boarding lounge and made us line up for a bag check. We did manage to jump the boarding queue again, we are getting used to being first on the plane!
Once again, LAN had managed to do a horrid job of allocating seats – they had Andres and I sitting next to each other (window and aisle) about 4 rows behind Leanne who was supposed to be on her own with Nicol for the 6 hour flight. Fortunately, we got some sympathy from the staff on board and they managed to re-arrange the passengers and get Andres sitting next to Leanne and me sitting across the aisle from them. It turned out that the seat next to me was empty, so we ended up with me sitting in the middle, Andres next to me on the aisle, Leanne across the aisle and a spare seat next to Leanne near the window for all our stuff for Nicol. Not ideal, but we managed.
Andres managed to keep himself mostly entertained watching inflight entertainment and playing with the tablet computer – although he did start to get a bit tired and ratty towards the end of the flight, it did arrive well after 7pm after all.
After passing through immigration and collecting our bags, we pre-paid for a minivan to take us to our hotel. Andres fell asleep on my lap on the way and it was difficult to wake him up at the other end. I knew it was going to be difficult to get him to settle down and into bed, but it ended up being a horrid evening.
It was nearly 9pm by the time we got to our room, they did not have a cot for us, and rang just after we got to our room informing us they didn’t have any cots available (despite us having requested one when we booked several weeks ago). We were very tired and hungry, so I was pretty grumpy with the girl on the phone – especially when she suggested they could probably get us one by tomorrow. I asked her what they expected us to do with a 9 month old baby in the meantime!
I left them to work out what they were going to do and headed out to try and find some food for us. I had forgotten when I booked the Holiday Inn Express that they don’t do room service here – the best they have is a small sandwich bar downstairs, but that was very uninspiring. I knew of a mini-mart about 10 minutes walk away, so I headed out into the cold night air and went looking for food, hoping that they were still open. They were – but they closed the doors while I was in there, so had I been 10 minutes later, I would have missed out. I managed to buy some sandwiches, biscuits, flavoured milk (nobody seems to do plain milk in small single-serve cartons in Chile!), and some water and headed back to the room.
Andres seemed to like the ham sandwich (after I had peeled off the cheese for him), but the other sandwiches I bought were pretty aweful, so Leanne and I put up with biscuits and some leftover chocolate we had in our bags. They had miraculously managed to find a cot for us by the time I returned, which was good, so Nicol was already asleep. I suspect they walked 2 minutes down the road to the Intercontinental hotel (part of the same group of companies!) and borrowed one from there – at least that was what I was going to tell them to do if they didn’t have one for us yet.
I finally managed to get Andres settled and asleep at around 11pm and we collapsed into bed exhausted too.