Saturday, January 9, 2010

On the Way Home

I have been on the road, more like in the air a lot the past few days, making my way home. Being stuck in Patriot Hills for 5 days screwed up all traveling schedule. To be fair, we missed our schedule flight on Dec 29 because our journey took longer than expected. The following Ulyushyn flight was scheduled to come on the 4th but the weather turned bad and we could only fly out the next 30 hours in a small window of opportunity.

I had given myself one week extra in case of delay but this delay was beyond it. All my tickets expired. As soon as I settled in the hostel in Punta Arenas with Bill and Dong (from Eric Larsen team), I hopped online and checked for tickets. Andreas, my team mate, decided to stayed in the airport to sort out his ticket but apparently, he had to come to town to purchase his. LAN airline was fully booked. No seat available until Jan 11th. I knew there was another cheap domestic airline that serves Punta and Santiago. I found a few good last minutes tickets online in range of $1500s, but first I had to get out of Punta. Dong, having checked with LAN and was offered a business class upgrade to his ticket from Punta Arenas to Shanghai for $7666, was very happy to hear my news. He and I rushed to the SkyAirline office to get our tickets to Santiago. We were lucky enough to get them.

Now that we had our flight to the gateway, the next step was to get the tickets home. On the same site, all the ticket went up to $2000 range, less than an hour. We were disappointed, but kept on searching. In one query, suddenly an amazing price popped up, for Aeromexico. It was 1/3 of what we had seen earlier. I couldn't believe my eyes :). Obviously, we quickly made our purchase before the price went up. There was a catch though. For the tickets we bought, we stopped everywhere. One day and a half in Santiago, one day in Mexico City (where we are currently), then Toronto. Good thing Dong and I had the same destination, so I have been travelling with him since we got back from Antarctica. After Toronto, Dong will fly to Vancouver to renew his Chinese visa then off to Shanghai. I'm going to jet back to the Bay area on Monday after visiting my family in Toronto.

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