Here’s my first post to let you all know that I’ve made it! I’m in Guatemala, after three flights, a stupidly early start but luckily very few struggles along the way.
Sorry if these are being uploaded at strange times – I’m seven hours behind GMT!
Arrived at Heathrow at the very early hour of 3.30am. It was pretty quiet everywhere except for my flight to Madrid (the very first of the morning, naturally), cue the typical British reaction of let’s join a non-existent queue.
My trip was fairly straightforward, besides our flight leaving late as a result of a guy requiring an extra seat for his massive cello (not joking). The flight wasn’t that great though because I was sat in the very back seat (loner!), without any windows near me to look out of and it was boiling hot.
The fun all started at Madrid airport. Not a lot was signposted in English, so I asked two different people where to go and they both said completely different places. Hmm. Then someone else told me I’d missed my flight, which I clearly hadn’t. Asking for help is great, if you can speak a different language! I ended up speaking German because no one understood my English for some reason. What a nightmare.
Anyway, eventually I managed to get on the right plane (phew), and despite another late start my nine-hour flight was underway. I was actually really impressed with the plane: there was a 40″ TV screen right in front of me, I was given a pillow and blanket, and even the plane food was impressive, with as many top-ups of tea, coffee and bread as I wanted! I had cannelloni for my first meal and a ham baguette for my second (if anyone’s that interested – my Mum probably is).
As soon as I jumped off the plane, a ridiculous heat hit me, a man said “Welcome to the United States of America, folks” and I thought, yep, I’m definitely in Miami! Getting through passport control took so long I ended up making friends with a random American guy (“You’re British, you’re used to queuing.” “Why are you going to Guatemala? Are you a volcanologist? There aren’t many volcanoes in England though?!”) and I only had a chance to scout round the duty free for a bit, buy my very own copy of the Miami Herald (had to do it!) watch a bit of CNN and then I was off on the next flight.
Although I didn’t check in for ages (I wasn’t expecting them to call for ‘Shaun’) I got a window seat and loads of legroom, so I was happy. The view of Miami as we flew over the US was breathtaking: the street lights were just flickering on as dusk fell. Oh, and Skittles sweets taste different there, too.
An hour’s transfer out of Guatemala City listening to proper country music whilst driving through night-time Latin America, and I arrived at the Posada La Merced hotel in Antigua. I’ve never seen more petrol stations in my life and of course, everything’s on the wrong side of the road!
Just met my room partner – she’s called Andrea, she’s from Switzerland and seems lovely! I woke her up as I went in the room though so I will find out more about her tomorrow. Although the hotel is basic, it is very clean and there are lots of plants. Up at 9am tomorrow, so excited for what the day brings!
Fingers crossed I won’t become a victim of jet lag. Hopefully my next few posts will be more interesting than just plane stories – I’ll keep you updated!