Flight Attendants, Prepare for the Crossing of the Andes
I tried to go to Mongolia. Like, really, really tried. Plane tickets, research, packing list all ready….. Instead, I ended up in Montevideo.
By the way, did you know there is a Montevideo, Minnesota? I did not. Google tries to filter me through to the MN version over the Uruguay version, every time. But, I’m not in Minnesota – I’m in Uruguay – figure it out Google!
Let’s back up. We planned on making a continental tour of Asia. Our plans changed. We moved to Mexico. But still with a hankering to get out and explore. We decided to go for an adventure before we let our roots get too deep in Mexico. Or maybe I decided….but whatever. We needed a place that was within 2 or 3 time zones of Colorado. And a place we both wanted to visit which is a challenge as our global bucket lists are quite different. Answer: Uruguay!
Originally we were going to spend a month in Uruguay but there was a really attractive airfare with a return a week earlier than we’d planned. So, we’re here for 22 days. Not many flights come into Montevideo. Most visitors, including us, choose to fly into nearby Buenos Aires and hop across the river to Uruguay. I had fond memories of Buenos Aires and Luis had never been so it was an attractive stop over.
But first – getting here.
I’m not sure if there are many things more spectacular than flying over a mountain range. The Andes, are no exception. I fell asleep somewhere around the international coastal waters off the coast of Costa Rica, or so. I woke up to the pilot saying over the intercom “Flight attendants, prepare for the crossing of the Andes”. Luis and I looked at each other with sleepy eyes and a raised eyebrow. “THE crossing of the Andes” Is that a thing? Is something going to happen? If he’d just said “we will soon be crossing the Andes” that would have seemed normal but “THE crossing” seemed monumental. I have crossed the Andes before at a much lower altitude and it was horrid – with the intense turbulence, 2 kids puking in the seat behind me and my heart trying to pound out of my throat. So, I worried that maybe the pilot was insinuating something like that in code to his crew. But, nope – smooth sailing and monumental indeed! I was grateful for the wake up call and head’s up so that I could get my camera out and Luis and I could shake off our grogginess as we woke up crossing the majestic, magnificent Andes!
It had been precisely 127 days since I last had my two feet firmly planted on South American soil. Home, sweet, home!