I'll spoil the ending right here, I'm on the plane to Palma as I type this.
When leaving Cali I was pretty confident that I would make it to Palma with next to no stress. I was also pretty confident that some part of my luggage wouldn't arrive. Little did I know the drama that was about to happen.
I've been on one or two planes in the last few years and I've learnt that stressing out or cracking up with someone doesn't really work but I was pushed close yesterday. It all started in Colombia when our flight was delayed by 2 hours, this started a chain reaction that we would not know about until the sweat was pissing out of me and I was told, "no possible." I'll get to that in a minute.
Me being me and we being the guts of the women's team pursuit.
The plane touched down in Madrid and it was only then that I realised how close we were cutting it, we had 30-40 minutes to get to the plane to Palma. In 9 to 10 years of travelling I have never been forced to do what I was about to do.....run! I hate it with a passion, at the ripe old age of 29 my body isn't up to it and I'm happy to listen it. When you roll off a 10 hour flight slightly crossed eyed and you just want to get to bed you'll do desperate things!
15 minutes later. After side stepping people, hopping things and taking the straightest line possible through duty free I arrived at the gate, I could see "last call" above the gate which gave me a glimmer of hope. Little did I know there was a stone cold witch who had made her mind up. The flight was closed and that was that. With a heart rate of 170bpm it takes a bit of self control not to crack on someone but I'm pretty happy with myself. What made things even worse was the other half of the Irish team were sitting on that plane! They were on a different flight from Cali. Apart from lying down on the gang way there was nothing they could do to stop the flight closing.
We were directed to a desk to organise the rest of the trip and at this point you just have to do what you're told. Problem now is that what we were told was a load of horse shit! We were told to pick up our bags and forget about your bicycles, they will be taken care of - fair enough, I didn't really want to do any manual labour. The plane we had to get was in 6 hours time so we just hung about and ate some crap food before finding our way to the correct terminal.
Curve ball!! At the check in, 5 hours later the staff have this bewildered look. 5 - 10 minutes of quick fire Spanish is passed back and forward between the check in staff and we were still none the wiser. Then an Avianca representative turns up and says we can't travel on this flight because of some shit I still can't really understand. It was something to do with airlines not being partners and we can't travel without our luggage as it's a security risk. This tells me that our bikes never arrived and if we left before our bikes arrived there would be no one around to take responsibility of them when they did.
Honestly I did pollute the air with a few curse words but at this point of the evening and jet lag kicking in I was happy to get to the hotel and sleep it off. The Avianca rep said, don't worry, everything will be taken care of. "Do this, do that, no problem. They will know all about your scenario in the morning." More horse shit by the way.
5.18am wake up, which if you weren't in Spain would be a 5.15am wake up call but hey, that's the least of my worries this week. For being 6am I felt pretty chirpy but I still had a feeling that we weren't home and dry yet. Turns out your gut is always right! At the Iberia check in the staff were initially like, who the hell are you, they would soon know!! They didn't really know what was going on and the fact that we had 19 (yes, 19!) extra pieces of luggage had them dumb founded. With things as clear as mud I ran up to the nearest Avianca desk who kind of knew our scenario. The problem now was which airline is paying for what and Iberia were confident they weren't. Yet again with the quick fire Spanish and no real progress. There was about 30 minutes of back and forward chat, looking at bag tags and another guy turns up with a smug look on his face. He didn't really help that much and with all said and done we probably had about 2 minutes to spare before check in closed. After all those words were wasted they checked our bags and told us to go. No more running, just a bit of a power walk and I was at the gate, happy.
My brain hurts right know so I'm gonna sign off! There is probably some major details missing in what I've just said but you get the gist. I'll update you folks on how my race in Cali went soon.
Next stop, Palma!