If you have been following this blog, then you have probably been wondering what has happened to us as it has been at least 10 days since my last blog.
We finally arrived home but managed to get caught up in the flight delays from the volcanic ash fallout. After spending 2 wonderful days in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires (at the coldest time ever recorded in June) we set off to spend out last 2 days visiting Iguazu Falls. Amazingly our flight was on schedule departing at 1030, it is usually only a 1-1/2 hour flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls, and we were all very excited about visiting the falls, this was my 4th time, the first for my clients.
We were in the air for over 1-1/2 hours when the captain announced a delay of landing due to low cloud over the airport. He decided we would stay in airspace for a while hoping that the cloud would decrease enough for him to land. At that point most of us were just worried that we might run out of fuel. After 2 hours there as another announcement that we would be diverting to another airport to refuel. One and a half hours later we were back in air space for another attempt at landing at Puerto Iguazu. By this time it was around 1530, everyone including myself were beginning to not only get anxious, but hungry as we had not eaten since breakfast. Well that is a lie, the cabin crew did bring us a small box which included chocolate cake, chocolate biscuit, and a chocolate, as well an Inca Cola and water. Of course all of this food ran out as well as the drinks, fortunately we had filled our water bottle before departure from BA.
At around 1630 the Captain again made an announcement saying that we were not only unable to land at Puerto Iguazu, but we could not return to Buenos Aires as they had just closed the airport due to ash cloud from the erupting volcano. Oh! no not again!! We then were told that we were diverting to another airport 100 klms north of BA where representatives from LAN would meet us. On arrival at the airport I managed to find someone from LAN who could not only speak English, but was extremely helpful. She told us that we had 2 choices – 1. Sixteen hour bus trip to IG. 2. 4 hour bus trip to BA, we only had 10 minutes to make up our minds. As we were not sure if flights would even be departing IG when we were scheduled to leave, we decided to return to BA where we spent another 2 days sightseeing and shopping. Fortunately, for us on our day of departure to Sydney the airport in Buenos Aries was open, but our flight would be delayed for 6 hours and diverted through Papette, which would add another 6 hours onto our flight. It was a disappointing end to what was a wonderful tour and we were all so pleased to finally make it home.
My other clients who were in Galapagos returned to Buenos Aires, and manged to land in Iguazu Falls where they enjoyed 2 wonderful days staying at the Sheraton Hotel and visiting the falls.
Unfortunately the day they were to depart IG to BA airport they were told that BA was closed again. They had no other option but to take a 19 hour bus journey to BA where they were met and transferred to the International airport to connect with their flight home. Apparently the volcano is still sending ash into the air but most flight have resumed to normal and airports open. But how long will this last!
I cannot wait to get to Bali next month to enjoy some warm weather. Keep blogging