Got to Auckland about an hour late and things were looking up. Coral was waiting for me at th lounge, so I was pleased to see she too had arrived as we’d had no contact since getting off the bus from the hotel.
We headed to the transit lounge to inform them we’d arrived and get details of our next flight, but instead informed our plane was not leaving until 3am the next day and were given a form which had overnight accommodation in Auckland at the Centra Hotel, return airport transfers and lunch and dinner in the restaurant. Although we were less than impressed at another delay, we were relieved to have somewhere to rest properly.
Unfortunately it took 5 hours to discover our luggage would not be available to us in Auckland and we missed our free lunch.
Tired, hungry and a bit grotty we stumbled into our hotel to be pleasantly surprised that it was modern, comfortable and had hot chocolate.
I begged the hotel to let us have dinner early and we were treated to a big buffet dinner with some awesome New Zealand oysters and a huge array of desserts and cheeses.
We caught a 1am bus to the airport and we’re now waiting in a lengthy customs queue with 300 displaced passengers, many red eyes and shortening tempers.
Our connections to Lima and Iquitos are now cancelled and and we will be provided with overnight accommodation in Santiago. Hopefully too, our baggage will be available there, because you can only wear the same clothes for so long before others treat you like you’re a grot.
Despite losing a day in Iquitos I’m relatively upbeat because we were otherwise going to be spending 11 hours waiting in various airports and that’s now been replaced with 2 free hotel stays and food and phone calls included.
Coral has been quite stressed at times and says this has been a test of her patience. I’m doing most of the talking and negotiation with various authorities as she tends to get a bit aggressive when they’re useless or don’t know things. Compared to work stress, I’m coping really well.