After a fairly uneventful but very long flight we approached Sao Paulo in Brazil. As we were about to land in Brazil, I found out from the crew that no one’s bags had been loaded on the plane! Actually, that was an exaggeration. One suitcase was loaded. Not even the crew had their bags. Apparently, with all the delays and cancelled flights, the ground staff didn’t hang around to find out if our flight was cancelled or not and understandably went home rather than wait forever in the cold.
But as with the North Pole and the Arctic, the weather dictates everything in the Antarctic. And with a window of good weather, the organizers had decided to move the flight forward one day…meaning all my equipment would arrive after the flight to the South Pole. This put me in a really awkward predicament.
I cannot go to the Antarctic without equipment or I will die.
I cannot miss the flight to the South Pole or I will miss the expedition.
I cannot wait for the luggage as it will arrive after the flight my departs.
As painful as it was, the only logical course was to spend my free day in Punta Arenas trying to replace $5,000 worth of survival equipment as quickly and as comprehensively as possible.
The airline ground staff said the airline would reimburse all costs but I doubt it…Hopefully now, I have used up all the bad luck I am going to get on this trip…inshallah! Although I was in a terrible situation, I was able to work around the obstacles. Unlike most people, when things are going well, I am very negative. I like things to be 100% and get very upset when things aren’t perfect. But when things fall apart, I am usually positive and upbeat, working on solutions and alternatives to recover a lost situation. However, I did feel terrible for a couple who had come to South America to get married, and had lost the wedding dress and all the other bits and pieces.