I told you we had a bit of trouble with our stop-over in Brazil. Now that we are relaxing at Quadelupe’s Casa in Peru with Quadelupe preparing breakfast for us we have forgotten about it. At the time it was stressful though!
I’m typing this while in the air from Sao Paulo, Brazil, heading towards Lima, Peru. There is a bit of turbulence on the plane every now and again which I don’t enjoy. The captain just spoke and he seems relaxed so that’s a good sign.
What drama we had to get on this flight! We were the last passengers to board! We booked our tickets with STA Travel. We booked Johannesburg to Lima with a stop-over in Sao Paulo. Our plan is to take trains and busses back from Peru to Brazil so we have a return ticket back to Joburg from Sao Paulo but we don’t have a return ticket for Lima to Sao Paulo. They say we need a return ticket from Lima to Sao Paulo, otherwise we won’t be allowed to enter Lima. They told us this 40 minutes before our flight to Lima was to depart. We could see printed tickets with our names on them lying on the counter but they refuse to let us on the flight without that extra reference number.
The air hostess helping us with this reference dilemma was actually quite friendly and she had to speak very slowly with her broken english for us to understand her. She gave us a complimentary phone card and password for the wi-fi.
We couldn’t get the phone card to work at the public phones- you have to first dial a number then enter a pin which was on the card- but we couldn’t get this to work. We also had no luck with the wi-fi. Other passengers were already boarding while we were trying to get telephone or internet connection. We were already missing South Africa! At least there everything is familiar, people can speak our language and friends and family are never too far away…
Eventually we got hold of STA Travel by using Marc’s cellphone. The phone cut off halfway because I think we had no more airtime.(so STA couldn’t phone us back either if we have no airtime). The lady from STA did manage to book a preliminary flight for us and gave us a reference number but she cut off before she could give us any other information. As the plane was virtually taking off they allowed us through with this meaningless reference number.
So, now I’m hoping we are going to be able to somehow get an internet connection in Lima and that we won’t have more drama!
We didn’t have any hassles when we got to Lima! STA Travel was very helpful. So remember, have a return ticket reference number if you are stopping over in Sao Paulo even if you don’t intend on using it.