Here it is. I am qualified to the Paragliding World Cup (PWC) in Brasil and booked a flight. The plan is not to have big plans. PWC in Brazil, travel for few weeks, then go to PWC in Argentina where I should also qualify, and then decide what to do next.
One paragliding backpack usually fits one glider and required accessories. I have two gliders to travel with, but light and small harness (opposite of huge and heavy competition harness). Fortunately the “travelling” glider is much more packable and I fitted two gliders, harness, rescue chute, helmet, two flying devices, radio and most clothes. It all was around 20 kg. A small backpack contained only trousers and jacket, and spared underwear with a pair of fresh socks, and of course some electronics and hygiene tools. Beginning is good.
5 hours before my plane’s departure an email arrived. “Your flight from Paris is canceled!” It took only 2 minutes to act. Found a ticket, found I should be compensated 600 EUR plus extra costs and purchased a new ticket. However a www.kiwi.com made me furious. I got a ticket purchase screen pre-filled, when I read: “we hold your reservation for next 59 minutes”. So I checked some facts about compensations and my previous flight, in ten minutes I clicked “Pay”, and got error message. It said something is wrong, please reload the page. After reload, it was 60 EUR more expensive and time is tight!!! I have no choice, other flights are even more expensive so I pay and fill an honest feedback. So I still go. Good.
Check-in is guarded with a cute dog :-). And the nice guy tells me my ticket is on standby. No idea how it can happen but I need to ask at gate if there is free space for me. In both Prague and Lisbon. Nice guy also tellsd me there are 30 places in Prague and more in Lisbon and should be no problem. I have no option than to believe. Still optimistic.
A message arrived to my cell phone. Your flight is delayed one hour. My flying buddy, my competitor, and also my friend invites me to a lounge and we get drunk. I go to gate, fortunately there is a free space in my plane and we depart. The most hysterical child in front of me is screaming about an hour. Sometimes on half gas, sometimes even pilots with their headphones on might hear it. An advertisement “use condoms” can be shot with a hidden cameras with no costs. Another reason for another wine. Cartoons on phone finally helps the kid to stop screaming. I am worried about a delay but more passengers follow to Sao Paulo and it is the same company.
No surprises, the connecting flight have not wait for me, and for a few other people I met on the board. A hotel is nice but I just do a quick shower and 6 hours sleep.
In the morning I have a hassle with pickup and drop off the luggage, it takes almost 2 hours. I have some vouchers for food but I was so full from breakfast that I give one to a child looking hungry to some sweets and purchase a sandwich and a coffee in Paul. There is some extremely hysterical woman screaming/crying something in Portuguese, I wonder what could happen to her. However finally I have a pleasant flight with Azul airlines to Brazil.
In Campinas airport is free wifi without any registration required so I am communicating through whatsapp with my buddy about competition when I heard: “Sir, yes you Sir, put away the phone!”, a policeman with a machinegun is looking at me strictly. I admit I was little scared and after quick surroundings check I notice many signs with “phones forbidden” picture. Fortunately he did not shot me.
Luggage waiting, bus waiting took ages despite the travel itself was quick and cheap, it took me another 8 hours to travel to my hotel. As it included a pleasant chat with two kind stewardesses who took the same bus from the airport and speak English, it was not bad.
Home, sweet temporary home 🙂