It was all supposed to be so easy.
We had driven the route with Marlon only two weeks ago and found that the airport was clearly sign posted and we left Marlon at the University Herbarium shortly after 8 a.m. so in plenty of time for John’s 11 check in for a 14:00 flight to Rio de Janeiro from where he would fly on to Miami and Newark.
But oh dear, it all went horribly wrong! Marlon had warned us not to turn off the main highway at the first sign to the Airport. It would take us through a huge industrial area around Salvador with no further signage to help you out. We were so keen not to take that first turn that we deliberately passed it – but, it seems with the benefit of hindsight we had missed the first turn off and so had deliberately driven past the second one, thinking that it was the first.
The result was that we ended up in the middle of Salvador, without any useful signage to anywhere that was on our road atlas. We stopped at various garages to ask the way, but were too far away, so that by the way the attendant had taken us past the 2nd turning left or right, out of a five minute life history in rapid Portuguese, we were none the wiser. I got out my GPS, but this had never heard of Salvador Airport, had no street maps of where we were and helpfully wanted to direct me to Rio de Janeiro, off-road. Argghhhh.
At least it showed us where we were roughly on the peninsula that has Salvador on the end, while the map showed us where the airport might be in relation to that. But we had become stuck in a suburb, and not the ‘best place in town’ by a long shot, so the doors had their central locking put on. John asked a few cabbies, but they were waiting for there fares and could not take us. The clock ticked on to 11 a.m. and past it. Then John spotted a taxi rank and decided to take a cab to the airport, rather than miss his plane and we asked the driver to drive slow enough so that we could follow in his slip stream.
We arrived at the airport around 11:45 and John went straight to the check-in desk while Cliff & I went to drop the car off.
John went through security just as we arrived back with our luggage, a quick shaking of hands ‘Great trip!’ ‘Must do it again!’ ‘Chile or Brazil?’ ‘Anywhere.’ ‘See you later!’
Cliff and I then had to wait until 18:25 when our flight was due to take off, and a further 90 minutes while the plane was waiting to get the go ahead from Sao Paolo to take off, after they had a major storm blow over.
The important thing was that we were on our way home!