Its been an eventful first 24 hours of the trip and not least because of the normally mundane journey to the airport. I phoned TFL earlier in the day and they told me to leave an hour to get from Kings Cross to Heathrow on the tube so, admittedly already running a little late, I hopped on a tube at 4.30pm. I first began to get a little edgy at around 5.15pm having realised we still were not anywhere really remotely near Heathrow and from this point on I was literally counting each minute with increasing anxiety. Particularly cruel was the 6 minute wait on the platform at terminal 4 when I needed to be at terminal 3. I eventually arrived at the Terminal 1,2,3 stop at 5.45 for my 6.50 flight, at this point completely convinced I was going to miss it. A lung busting sprint with 25kg of baggage in tow later I made check in with minutes to spare drenched in sweat much to the amusement of the check-in staff. Vintage Sam most people would say. Following this I was rushed through security still out of breath, but at least feeling a little more at ease. I then picked up a few final bits from duty free, got my last few phone calls in and made my way to the now pretty much fully boarded plane.
The flight passed off pretty uneventfully, although I was horribly dehydrated by this point and really suffering in the dry plane air. At Madrid Airport I had a quick meal, plenty of water and a beer to celebrate actually catching plane. Having mocked Rory for his organisation during our gap year, he gained the nickname TGR short for Tour Guide Rory, I thought to myself perhaps I owed him more than I thought for getting me around the world in one piece!
After some seriously continental queuing, i.e. free for all, to get onto my Buenos Aires connection I finally boarded my plane, which I think its fair to say may have pre-dated democracy in Spain everything from the terrible 70s style fabrics to the yellowing plastic pointed to the fact that it had perhaps been around the block a bit. Worst of all there was no inflight entertainment system, tantamount to torture on a 12 hour flight. Savages. The next indication that this was not quite British Airways was the fact that a row had erupted next to me due to the fact that 3 different people had all been allocated the same seat!
We arrived delayed by an hour at 9am and were greeted by men in masks with heat seeking cameras checking everybody's temperature. I have been under the weather over the last few days so was slightly concerned by this coupled with an overwhelming urge to sneeze, definitely a bad idea given the circumstances, which I managed to stifle. I got through to baggage claim with plenty of time to spare to catch the 10am bus, which I had been booked on, however 10 came and went and my bag still had not appeared. It eventually came and certain I had missed my bus I went to the office to see when the next one was. I had, however, failed to allow for the fact that this was South America and 10am means some time around 10, but mostly when we feel like it, so my bus was still on stand and loading up at 1025 when I eventually got to it.