So much is going on, that I have no time to write about it. On Saturday (well it was already Sunday in Europe) I reached Quito after over twenty hours of travel. More or less without any adventures, but I must write few words about the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Firstly some serious things.
Recently a hurricane Maria has gone over Puerto Rico. The island is devastated. The forests laying down, muddy rivers flowing to the Sea. The houses and other buildings’ roofs are gone, covered only with some blue plastic. The view from the plane was terrifying. The airport itself was also hit by the storm. Some ceilings have been taken off, the electricity is produced by generators, the whole building smells moisture and fungus. With 30 degrees centigrade big fans replacing the air condition don’t help much. Some of the passages are closed and navigating to your gate could be a real quest. By the way… At the whole airport I’ve found only two information boards, with one of them showing only flights of one company – of course not mine. And instead of info desk I’ve found a big empty space.
However the lack of electricity and general devastation don’t prevent the presence of several dozens of slot machines. I was shocked seeing a device like this in the airport.
Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean. And even at the airport you cannot forget about it. People sitting on the ground – why not? Mothers breastfeeding children – and no-one objects – that’s natural, normal. Children have to eat. All the ambiance is different from the serious European airports. More relaxed, easier, more natural, without pretending and stiffness. And this shop! Even a whole market chain (I saw few of them). The only thing that was missing was a song of Vaya Con Dios ‘Puerto Rico’.
And then Panama and finally some Internet (in San Juan there was a router with great reach, but they probably had forgotten to plug it to the Internet). And then Quito. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. South America, a wild land, the infrastructure in total mess… Well, nope. I saw the cleanest and the most modern airport I’ve ever seen. And the motorway to Quito was better than any French or German one, not even speaking about Polish.
After arrival the passport control and luggage claim. Everyone besides me had at least three suitcases. Enormous suitcases! One could put in a family of three, a dog and food for them for a week. Really. The belt was full. Some airport employees was trying to do some place for the next and next baggages coming down. I don’t know what they smuggle from Panama, but they smuggle a hell lot of it. Of course my backpack was the last thing to come.
And then a humongous queue to customs (just imagine all those people with five suitcases each). A half an hour of waiting only to show a passport and hear: ‘You can go’. Well, at least on the Ecuadorian land.