I started out my around the world trip with a Transatlantic flight from Chicago to Munich in United Global First Class. After a longer than usual flight from Washington-DCA to Chicago, I arrived at O’ Hare and met up with my good friend, who would be joining me for the entire trip to Europe and Asia. We spent an hour or so at the United Global First Class Lounge in O’Hare, primarily finishing up some last-minute bill paying and calling loved ones before we departed. Finally, it was time for boarding, so we ventured to the gate where boarding had just commenced.
I write this post on Saturday morning — not from Iguazu Falls as planned, but from New York – JFK, Terminal 2.
That’s right. I never made it to Iguazu Falls.
There were a ton of little things that went wrong with my trip, and they all caught up with me Friday afternoon in Sao Paulo.
Basically, I was both physically and mentally exhausted. Confronting me was a ten-hour layover in Sao Paulo before a late night flight to Iguazu Falls. Considering how exhausted and out of it I felt at 4pm, I couldn’t imagine dealing with negotiating with a Brazilian cab driver, crossing the Brazil / Argentina border, and locating a small hostel in Puerto Iguassu, Argentina twelve hours later.
But what exactly happened to get to that point?
After much internal debate, I’ve finally decided to go through with my trip this coming long weekend to Iguazu Falls via pretty much every major airport in South America.
Am I insane?
Back this Spring, LAN offered a very, very cheap rate from New York to Iguazu Falls on both LAN and TAM metal. Naturally, I made a game of finding the most absurd routing possible to get to Iguazu Falls. That seemed like a fun thing at the time. It was also one of the cheapest routings, to boot.
Yeah, I’m pretty much dreading the flights. Over 32 hours of flying in coach, on FIVE flights to get from DC to freakin’ Foz do Iguazu, Brazil at 1am, only to have to taxi into Puerto Iguassu, Argentina in the wee hours of the morning.
Five flights? Four transfers? A late-night border crossing between Brazil and Argentina?
What possibly could go wrong?
In the end, I’ve decided that an opportunity to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World – Iguazu Falls – is just too good to miss, despite the absolute absurdity that I’m putting myself through to get there. Oh yeah – I’ve also already put too much of a financial investment in this trip to just see it go to waste.
During my time there this weekend, I plan on seeing the Falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides, as well as spending some time in Puerto Iguazu. Since I’m rockin’ this trip solo, I’ll be staying at a hostel in order to keep costs down. So I’ll for sure get to Brazil and Argentina on this trip. If I play my cards right, I may be able to get into neighboring Paraguay for a bit, but we’ll see how that goes when I get down there. Mix in the quality time I’ll get to spend during my layovers in Lima, Peru, and that’s possibly four countries in one weekend (though I hesitate to count Peru if I don’t leave the Lima Airport).
Yeah… it looks like this:
- DCA-JFK on AA (my upgrade to First Class cleared!)
- JFK-(LIM)-SCL on LAN in economy (stopover in Lima)
- SCL-GRU on TAM in economy
- GRU-IGU on TAM in economy
- IGU-LIM on LAN in economy
- LIM-JFK on LAN in economy
- JFK-DCA on AA in economy
So, over 13,000 miles of flying in a weekend. Not bad. Slightly insane, but not your typical weekend. Whatever happens, it’ll be an adventure. And for that, I’m thankful. Now, about streaming the Auburn vs. Texas A&M game…
Update: This trip did NOT go as planned… the trip report is linked below:
A 36-hour Trip to Nowhere: An Iguazu Fail
- LAN Economy Class New York-JFK to Santiago on the B787
- LAN Economy Class Santiago to Sao Paulo on the B787
- Delta Business Elite Class Sao Paulo to New York-JFK