A Travellerspoint blog

Time to go home

The adventure is over

Saturday 29 April 2023 - Monday 1 May 2023

I had plenty of time to repack my bag and try to make everything fit. It was a struggle to get the zipper closed!

I checked out at 10.30 and caught a taxi for the half hour trip to the airport (USD35). I'm so glad I went to the airport early because the lines for security wound around the airport and took an hour to reach the security area. My American Airlines flight left on time at 13.50 and four and a half hours later I was in Dallas, with time change it was 19.15. Although I didn't have to pick up my luggage in Dallas I did have to go through immigration and security. The immigration and security officers were really rude ... the security woman was yelling at people.

My Qantas flight left on time at 22.30 on Saturday. After sixteen and a half mind numbing hours I arrived in Sydney around 06.15 on Monday. I have never seen such chaos at Sydney airport. Several flights had just unloaded and there were long lines at all the passport machines. I finally got to the front of the line but, because I'd been to Peru and Ecuador, I was directed go to the assistance line. I only had to show my Yellow Fever vaccine card (had the vaccine in 2019 for travel to Africa).

Despite my extra time at immigration the luggage still hadn't come through and it took quite a while before my bag arrived ... it was a relief to see my bag had made it from Costa Rica. I knew by that stage that I was not going to make my 08.00 flight to Canberra. The line for customs was very long. I had to declare my shoes because I'd been walking in rural and river areas in South and Central America, but when I finally arrived at the front of the line I was only asked if my shoes were clean and I was waved through.

The chaos was even worse when I arrived at the Qantas transfer to the domestic terminal. The line was out the door. I was directed to a line to change my flight then I had to go back in the line that was out the door - that was the line for security. I only just made my 09.30 flight and arrived in Canberra half an hour later. I was exhausted after more than 30 hours of travel.

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I travelled the entire Pacific coast of South America, from the snow and icy waters of Patagonia to the dry areas of the Atacama Desert to the tropical beaches and jungles of Ecuador, with the bonus of a taste of Central America with Panama and Costa Rica. The trip was more than a cruise, it was an expedition and every day was a new adventure.

Captain Willasen described the ship as a happy ship, where all the staff are valued for their role in making things run smoothly. He was right, it felt like a happy ship ... I loved Roald Amundsen and I was sad to leave.

This trip was something I dreamed about during the years of the Covid enforced stay at home. I had done my research and had high expectations of the Hurtigruten experience. It far exceeded my expectations!

Posted by MissWalker 06:11 Archived in Australia

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