London to Buenos Aires
If you fly to South America during the day you have to start pretty early. Wake up alarms started to ring around 3.30am at our Heathrow hotel and by 4.15am we are transferring to the airport terminal in our private coach. Our British Airways flight to Madrid is the first one of the day so the terminal building is pretty empty. We take the underground train connection from Terminal Five to the satellite gates and we are soon aboard the aircraft and ready to depart. The captain then announces a short delay. Nothing serious but we are waiting for half of a big group that British Airways do not wish to leave behind. Fair enough and we have ample connection time in Madrid. The missing passengers turn out to be a school band from Panama. Many of the students are carrying musical instrument cases and many are wearing typical Panamanian hats. Not Panama Hats as you know them (which are made in Ecuador, as you know!) but more of a straw boater with a turned up rim. The band members also have a medal. We notice it refers to London and discover they took part in London New Year's Day Parade. They had flown in specially and were now on the way home. Sadly New Year's Day in London was not the best of weather so we imagine they were very pleased to be heading home for some sun!
In Madrid the band set off for their Panama flight and we joined our flight to Argentina. We boarded a nice new aircraft and, unusually, the flight was not fully booked so guests were able to spread out. Dawn moved seats twice but not through choice! The TV screen in front of her original seat decided to give up so she moved, only for the same thing to happen a second time. Everyone around her was fine. Spooky.
Umpteen hours later we landed at Buenos Aires Airport. The immigration staff were efficient and welcoming, and luggage didn't take too long to arrive either. Guillermo, our cheery guide met us and we were in our hotel less than 90 minutes after touch down. Not bad at all. Time for a well earned sleep in a comfortable bed. Good night.