Love the marbling of the algae around this odd couple
‘The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley’. Today I got a sinking feeling of panic on hearing that my flight was delayed by over two hours due to the weather and I wouldn’t be able to make my connection. Getting a little more familiar with these situations, I established that hotels in Los Angeles are packed out due to the Special Olympics at the moment, so my only real option was to venture back out into Newark, New Jersey. The obliging lady at the check-in desk rearranged to the next viable alternative: unfortunately it’s 11 hours longer than my previous flights and with an extra stop-over but nothing I can do about that, so have had to shake off the annoyance. Right now I’m sat in an inordinately expensive, but simultaneously revolting, hotel relatively near to the airport so I can try again tomorrow. Not a favourable thing to happen when you’re supposed to be travelling on a budget, but a relatively small obstacle in comparison to other potential items from the list of ‘things that could go wrong’ (*touch wood*).
The plus side of this situation is that I’ve had plenty of time to relax after the hot energy of New York.
Touching John Lennon memorial in Strawberry Fields, Central Park
“There is nothing safer than flying – it’s crashing that is dangerous”. – Theo Cowan
After the usual, urine related, antics at the crèche this morning, things proceeded to go downhill. Very literally in one some cases. The major time theft of the day was my hang-gliding expedition. I say expedition as I arrived at 11 and didn’t leave until past 5. Basically I was sat at the top of a mountain in my harness and helmet for six hours whilst crowds of gliders gathered, waiting for the cloud to leave a gap so that we could jump off the mountain. I think it would be fair to say that I’m not the most patient soul in the world, so after many false alarms, each involving rushing to the glider and buckling up only to see another swath of cloud roll in, I was getting increasingly pissed off. I was convinced that we were just going to end up having to drive back down. In the mean time my instructor shared some interesting stories. The two that come to mind are: him taking his dog hang-gliding and his ex-girlfriend turning out to be a man. Both stories accompanied by pictures.
Of course, the actual flight was incredible. A particular highlight was flying alongside a native hawk! It really did make you feel ‘like a bird’.
However the two hours which followed were occupied by sitting in solid traffic during my lift back to the hostel. I then rushed to Copocabana on the tube to pick up my costume and the centre was shut and I’m not sure if it will open again as the holiday season starts tomorrow – I paid a deposit. Yet another pointless waste of money it would seem. (Although not all hope’s lost yet – I’m going to check whether it’s open in the morning – fingers crossed!)
I’m getting irritated by being constantly ripped off here. It’s actually an incredibly expensive city, particularly considering it’s apparent state of poverty.
The icing on the cake was coming back to ask around if anybody had a laptop with a cd drive for me to offload my gliding pictures from, of course nobody did, and then noticing an hour later that I had dark purple açai juice smeared over my face.
p.s. I apologise for this rant. I know that I shouldn’t be complaining but it’s hard not to have a little moan after sitting around for six hours in a heavy ‘bib’ and oversized helmet.