Monday, January 19, 2015

2015.. skipping time..

OK.. I am not getting the trip to Europe edited and now it is 2015.  I am heading to Brazil again for a few months and wanted to make sure to do some writing while I am there.  I will randomly go back and finish some of the posts I have written about Europe.  They just require some editing and photo selection but that process does take some time.
For today, I write as January 1, 2015 comes and it is time to head south leaving behind what has been a cold fall/winter thus far in the states.  My travel takes me directly from Atlanta to Brasilia and then onward to Goiania. A lift from my neighbor and I arrive at the airport early enough to grab a bite to eat.  It includes a diet coke as I will not find those in Brazil.   When I get to the gate I am called to the desk to confirm my passport and visa and the agent at the gate recognizes me.  She knows my partner's sister and we exchange pleasantries. The world is truly quite small. Soon the boarding process begins,  the airplane doors are closed, and we

are speeding down the runway.  I fall asleep quickly which is unusual for me on these overnight flights but I am definitely tired from being up late New Years Eve.  A short time into the flight I am awoken by the crew passing out the evening meal.  Pretty usual meal and nothing exciting happens on the flight.  I struggle to get a little more sleep but I am sure it is less then 3 hours total.  6:30 A.M. comes and once again we are on a runway scurrying around the tarmac in Brasilia.  As we land I realize the last time I flew through was early 2014 and  I was apprehensive as to whether this airport would be ready for the world cup. The two new concourses were still under heavy construction with what looked like lots of work left to be done.  I remember being doubtful it would be finished in time but to my understanding it was primarily ready for the first games played here.  I open the sash and see the glass structure which is the new concourse.  The plane settles at the gate and soon it is time for customs,  luggage retrieval and then wait for my domestic flight.   My flight is
not for almost 7 hours and I am not looking forward to hauling around my three checked bags for 4 hours.  In Brazil, passengers cannot check luggage unless it is less then 3 hours prior to their flight. I collect those bags and leave customs and to my surprise there is a new baggage check area right outside the door where international flights can recheck their bags right away.  No hauling them around with you, which is definitely a nice surprise and an upgrade.  I get in line behind the couple first in line waiting for an agent and soon a line forms behind me.  I am fortunately one of the first people to make it through customs so my wait is short.  The last time I was in Brasilia they had just introduced free wi-fi so I purchase credit for my Brazilian cell phone and make my way to the upper level where all the restaurants are located and there is plenty of places to sit.  To my surprise all the restaurants are boarded up.  Well, there are still some local restaurants located there like Giraffe's and a Brazilian Italian one,  but those that came right before the world cup last year (-McDonald's, Subway, etc) are no longer there.  I guess
they got in, made their money and are gone.  I find a nice quiet place to wait and browse the internet. After about four hours and some lunch from Giraffe's (Brazilian version of fast food) I decide to make my way to my gate, not sure if they will let me.  Just like waiting to recheck your luggage you had to wait until 45 minutes before your departure time to head through security.  This however, was no longer the case. Oh and on my way to security I noticed a brand new McDonald's on the main floor where passengers check in.  I guess they moved to a more prominent location.  I pass through security with no issues and head down the long hallway into the vast glass enclosed airport.  It is sure more
luxurious than the previous gates for domestic departures. The old concourse had people practically sitting on each other and was always so hot.  The new concourse is spacious and air conditioned with a great view of the planes departing and arriving.  If I had known I could come here earlier I would have but I will know next time.   Filled with people waiting for their flights,  I slowly walk down the aisle taking it all in.   There are more restaurants here as well and I am sure that is one reason they let people into the gate area earlier.  It is much more functional and less crowded then the circular gates of the old domestic terminal.    As I take my seat and wait, I realize that the Brasilia airport is truly more advanced than it was prior to the world cup and has an international feel now.  One last upgrade,  gone are the days of loading onto a bus which takes you to the stairs at the door of the plane.  A modern gate that loads people directly into the plane has replaced this.  The boarding process is quick and I am soon in my assigned seat.  There is a little confusion in the seat next to me as two guys with the same name have been assigned the seat but it is quickly resolved.    The flight is quick (35 minutes quick) and soon I am in Goiania,  get my luggage, am greeted by Luiz, and soon we arrive at my home south of the boarder.  A few hours later Luiz's brother Junior and friend Eda arrive.  The plan is to see more of this vast country with a quick trip as it is summer break here for most and upon their arrival I am informed we are leaving at 4:00 am which to my body is 1:00 with little sleep the night before. But let the adventure being,  I am game as I can sleep in the car.  Ok.. not very exciting writing but will save the trip for my next post in a few days.

No comments: