My Story

lunes, agosto 15, 2005

I was stranded in Bonaire for two days...

...and all I got is this tan and these photos at the end of this post.

As I promised, now I'll tell you how my flight back home arrived two days later than it was expected to.
My journey began Friday, the 29th July in Berlin and I was travelling with two other friends from Quito. The students from all over the world had began their trip back home since 4:00 am, and by the time it was our turn to travel (around 15:00), we were really tired and down since we had seen most of our friends depart before us and had to say "farewell" to them. It had been one of the best months in our lives, and although we all would have liked to stay forever, it was the time to return home.

Our shuttle bus left the hotel at 15:02, and I was so tired I couldn't help falling asleep in the bus. We arrived at the airport, had something to eat and went through the check-in process. Then, we chatted a bit with the other students that would be leaving around the same time we did, we made some more pictures, and we went in the pre-boarding room. While we waited for the time to board the flight that would take us to Amsterdam, Juan Francisco (aka Goffo) and I talked about all the things we had done in those four weeks in Germany, while Vanessa made funny comments every now and then about the things we were talking about.

Although our plane was to leave at 18:10, we were just boarding around an hour later. We were told afterwards, that the delay was due to some kind of leak in the airplane, and one of the consecuences was that we wouldn't have coffee nor tea during the flight. Again, I spent most of the short trip sleeping.

We arrived at Amsterdam around 20:30 and headed towards the gate of our next flight (Amsterdam - Guayaquil). It wasn't really hard; the airport in Amsterdam is indeed big, but it is quite easy to find your way inside it, for you will find signs everywhere telling you where to go. Since we would have to wait three hours before our plane departed, I went to buy some gifts, and then we explored part of the airport. We returned to our gate like an hour before the planned departure time, and we found that most of the passengers were already there. We found free seats and waited patiently for those 60 minutes to pass, so that we would get on that plane outside the big window at our left but...

...just then, they told us that our flight had to be delayed due to technical problems. Ironically, just hours before, I asked one lady from the KLM staff whether our flight would leave on time or not. Anyways, the point was that the "Ana Pavlova", who was resting outside our gate, would not be able to take us to Guayaquil, so they would have to bring another airplane to fly us home. The KLM staff announced that another aircraft would be arriving at anytime to come and pick us up. Then, after two hours or so, they said that it would arrive in ten minutes or so. Then, because it was getting late, they gave us KLM snacks and apple juice. Then, around 2:10 am, the pilot that would fly our plane told us that if our plane didn't leave before 4:00, it would have to leave the next day due to some kind of dutch regulation. Then, around 2:40, another KLM plane (the "Audrey Hepbourne") finally came and at 3:00 we were leaving Amsterdam. While all these happened, me and my friends tried to take short naps and relax a bit, yet it wasn't really comfortable to lie on our cabin baggage and sit on some heating device (it was luckily turned off). I also went around a few times to stretch my legs, and I noticed that there was this girl who looked very much like Beatriz (from mundopip.blogspot.com), and there was this other girl in a long green skirt who was really cute (but was unfortunately, travelling with what seemed to be her boyfriend).

I have always wondered, why my flights back home always have something, erm, particular. I mean, the last time, like one and a half years ago, a man sitting two or three rows behind me was epileptic, and got an attack during one of the meals, and this time, I sat next to a woman who was being deported. Well, I couldn't find out more since we didn't have much of a talk anyways, for I was so tired, I only woke up to have the meals and to watch the ending of "Madagascar" (I had already seen it in Germany, so there was nothing to regret).

We arrived at Bonaire, a small dutch island in the caribbean, for refueling and cleaning as it is normally done, however, we were asked this time to stay on board so that we could save time. We were back in the air after 50 minutes or so, and after fifteen minutes of flight, they told us they had dissapointing news for us: we had to return to Bonaire, because the plane was having technical problems.

Once we were in the tiny airport of Bonaire, and after waiting for more than an hour, I found out through a KLM agent, that there was a problem with some oil pump in one of the turbines, and therefore it was getting too hot. After another two hours or so, we were told that it could take a bit longer than expected, and we received food vouchers for the small bar in that bacteria-sized airport (after having waited for more than 5 hours, that can be really traumatizing >_<). Goffo, who was now more awake, also noticed the young lady in the green dress I mentioned before (lol). After one and a half more hours, maybe more, we were told that the problem with the "Ana Pavlova" couldn't be solved for the same day, and that KLM would arrange food and accomodation for us, and that if we needed to, we could pick up the other pieces of our luggage with us.

Goffo, Vanessa and me were taken, along other passengers, to a resort 10 minutes away from the airport, where we had lunch and were supposed to stay. Sadly, after the meal, we were informed, that some of the passengers, including us, wouldn't be able to stay there, for no rooms were left, and that we had to wait for another bus to take us to another hotel. We were taken to the Plaza, where we were told that because there were no rooms available in the island, we would have to stay in the casino of that hotel for that night, and that KLM would send camping beds for us. There were naturally people who complained about that, but they were all attacking the manager of the Plaza, who didn't have much to do with the problem KLM had put us in. With my friends, we picked up our stuff, found a place where light shone above us, and after getting changed, we went to the beach.

I must admit, that being stranded in Bonaire isn't really that bad. I mean, unless you have some really important business you have to attend at your destination, staying a few days at Bonaire can be pretty relaxing and cool, for it has nice beaches you can visit and downtown seems to be quite fun (I didn't went to the "city" myself, but some other passengers did, and they said it was interesting). We spent the rest of the day in the swimming pool and in the crystal like water at the beach.

We were supposed to leave the next day, around 15:00, but when the time to leave came, we were told that we would have to stay another night, but luckily, we did receive rooms this time. Again, we went to the beach and the pool, and I would have rented a snorkel, if we had known earlier that we would have to stay another full day (you had to return the snorkel before 17:00, and by the time I asked, I would only have had it for a bit more than 1 hour, so it wasn't a good idea to pay for them). That night, we didn't sleep much, since we had to be ready to go at 3:00. The rest of the flight was pretty "normal"; I was able to sit together with my other pals (and an English guy lent us his FHM, which one of the flight attendants also wanted to read), and not many other delays occured, so I would say it was "good" flight; I finally arrived to Guayaquil on Monday at around 8:30 (that would be, more than two days later than planned!).

I can say, that I kinda enjoyed my stay at Bonaire, but it had been much better if they had told us from the beginning, that we would have to stay two nights; I could have planned my activities better, and it would have been much nicer; however, the food was a whole lot better than in the airplane, and I also got to set foot on Bonaire! (and, needless to say, I got a bit tanned ^_^) One of the german passengers told me, that when he booked his flight, he had asked whether he could stay a few days in Bonaire on his way to Ecuador or not, and they had said it wasn't possible, yet it seems he did it anyways!


Seaside in Bonaire Camping in a Casino

Beach at Bonaire Our Territory