17th March 2018.
It was the day we were flying to Argentina, my very first time to South America and my boyfriends first time home in over 2 years. We’d been in Holbox a few months and island fever had really set in, so we were triple excited to be heading off on a new adventure together.
We dragged our suitcases down the dusty roads of Holbox just short of 6.30am and hopped onto the 7am ferry. I vividly remember the sun rising as we set sail to Chiquila and the sky exploding into colour.
I remember thinking, “this is how adventures should begin, in the darkness of morning; at the break of a new day”.
Once arriving at Cancun airport, we spent the time before our first flight to Panama eating and drinking way too much at Frankie & Bennies. After a quick toilet stop before boarding, we then wrongly decided to run back to the bar and sneak a last shot of Jaegermeister.
We ran to the gate only to just catch them before they closed the doors.
“Maximiliano y Lucie?” they quizzed us.
“Yes….sorry” I replied sheepishly as we ran through and onto the plane.
Cancun —–> Panama
We flew early evening and just like that morning where we had managed to catch the sunrise, this time we were flying out of Mexico at sunset. I remember my lips being so dry. I kept licking them which I know, makes it worse. Also I hadn’t hydrated myself and had way too much alcohol to calm my nerves about flying.
As soon as we landed in Panama we searched high and low in the airport for any sort of lip balm but nothing. We had a couple of hours layover and I literally couldn’t think or anything worse than doing another 8 hour flight to Uruguay with lips this darn dry!
Panama —-> Uruguay
We flew Copa Airlines and I am ashamedly a snob when it comes to flying. Not because I like luxury but because I have developed a fear over the years and I like safety!
I had never heard of them before so wasn’t feeling great about flying with Copa but they were the cheapest option so I did it. It was about 6+ hours into out flight when I suddenly hear over the tannoy that we are having to make an emergency landing, somewhere in Paraguay.
Apparently there was a HUGE storm currently in Montevideo, Uruguay and we were unable to land there. It was the middle of the night there and the airport was closed so we sat in the plane, at the airport, waiting for news that the storm had passed over.
After a couple of hours, the pilot muttered something in Spanish and off we took again.
I soon learnt that we were actually the first plane to attempt the landing during this storm. WHAT.
As we approached Montevideo, I was holding on for dear life, the plane was shaking violently, outside was grey and I could see lightning strikes all around me. I remember them saying to the cabin crew to be ready for landing and I was like “I CAN’T SEE THE RUNWAY, HOW CAN WE BE LANDING!!?”. I couldn’t see anything but dark clouds and sudden flashes of lightning.
The moment those wheels touched sacred land, I’m sure a little pee came out.
Arriving in Uruguay
Just to let you know, we chose to fly into Montevideo and not Buenos Aires, (which was where we were actually going) because it was so much cheaper. It turned out though, to cost us a lot more.
We had a hotel booked for 2 nights and after getting the bus from the airport to a more central point, we realised we were fucked! The rain was hammering down and even the bus driver was barely able to see the road . He then gestured to us that this was our stop and as we looked out we laughed. There was nothing there, no shelter or anything.
Cue us running like idiots on the side of a road, with luggage galore trying to flag down a taxi. It was at this point that water had gotten into our backpack and straight into a USB port on our laptop. I had a photoshoot to finish editing and have ready by the next day, so as soon as we checked in, I turned on the laptop to work and BAM, nothing.
We took it later to get fixed in Argentina but it was beyond repair.
2 days in Montevideo
We stayed at the Smart Hotel. It was a beautiful hotel and had a great central location! Our room was huge, with a kitchenette area and sofa! The first day was of course a right off and we spent the day in the room, with the storm blowing a gale outside, watching Netflix with new found snacks.
The day after was a bit kinder to us and we really got to explore the city by foot.
To be honest, we wern’t swept away with Montevideo but I think we had to give it a bit more time. It took me several attempts to fall in love with Edinburgh and in the end I lived there!
The city was quiet and there seemed to be no atmosphere while we were there. We found ourselves more than ready to take the ferry to Buenos Aires the following day and to embark on our next adventure…
To be continued...