Thursday, January 16, 2014

A long way from Saskatoon


We left Cow Bay Sunday night and drove to Sidney so that I could catch an early flight to Toronto on Monday morning.  The weather was crap in the Bay but I understand it improved dramatically as soon as I left.  It didn’t improve as much as travelling 1/3 of the way round the world made it improve.

Marilyn was probably back on the boat before Air Canada got us stuffed into their flying culvert and headed to Toronto.  In Toronto I had to clear US Customs but they seem to have lost interest in me.  They more or less waved me through again.  Then Air Canada loaded us on another tin can, pushed back from the ramp, started taxiing toward the runway and then realized that the plane was broke.  I could have told them that when they made the first turn after the push tractor disconnected.  There was a gawd awful racket coming from underneath the wings.  I’ve heard something similar in the past, I think its a hydraulic pump problem on A320s, but it typically only lasts a few seconds.  This went on and on and seemed to be related to braking somehow.  As usual in those situations the pilot lied through his teeth. 

“We’ll be able to fix it right here next the runway and we’ll be airborne in a few minutes”  NOPE, knew you wouldn’t be able to pull that one off.

“We’ll have to go back to the ramp but it should only take 20 minutes”  Not a prayer although after a mere 1-1/2 hours they did manage to get us away from the gate the second time.  I wasn’t sure whether to hope we would take off or hope they would scrub the flight and make sure the plane was fixed.  Apparently it was fixed because we made it back onto the ground in Miami close to 2 hours late.  Fortunately I had a 3-1/2 hour layover on my booking. 

I’m not sure whether it was me, the hour of the day or the airport but Miami seemed like more of a fustercluck than most airports.  Most of it also appeared to be more or less deserted.  I say “most” of it advisedly because I walked the whole circumference of the damn place getting from the Air Canada gates to the American Air gates.  Eventually American stuffed us into another flying culvert and hauled us all the way to Montevideo.  I was pretty well whupped by the time we landed close to 10 hours later and about 28 hours after first getting on a plane in Sidney.

I’m kind of enjoying Uruguay.  The culture is very Spanish, which is to say that nobody gets very concerned about timelines.  But the scenery is fantastic.  Its incredibly green. 

The hotel I am staying in is within walking distance of the central square in town.  I’ve been eating supper every night looking out over the square.  The photo below isn’t of the square.  I was trying to capture the cathedral but all the streets are so narrow that there just isn’t any good place to get a picture of it.


I’m still not sure whether I need to work Sunday in order to finish up this installation before my return flight.  I’m hoping that I can take at least part of the day off because I’m only a few miles from the ocean.  And as the picture above attests, its beach weather here.

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