Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The trip down was a little bit rough. The trouble started right in our driveway in Sudbury when Sue and I got into the taxi to go to the bus station for the airport. As the taxi driver was backing out of our driveway, we hit a tree - firmly! This must have been a coomon experience for this driver, because he just pulled forward a few feet, revealing the large gash at the base of the tree. He said, "Don't worry . . . I'm not." And away we went to the bus station. Upon arrival at the bus station, a quick inspection showed no damage had been inflicted on the 15-year old station wagon.

The Bus ride to Logan was smooth and fast - thanks to the Ted Williams tunnel.

Next, it was on to Florianopolis, Brasil - via Dallas and Sao Paulo. We had paid reservations and a document you may never have seen before called a Prepaid Ticket Advice. The ticket agent who was checking us in informed us that she could not issue our tickets because American no longer has a cross-ticketing agreement with Varig, our carrier from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis. American had cancelled that agreement just one day earlier due to the major financial crisis Varig is facing. After standing at the ticket desk for almost a full hour, the problem was resolved with a change to another airline - TAM.

Bags were checked - including the FT-1000MP I was bringing to our host for the contest, Waldir PY2WC.

Next issue was a very late departure out of Boston. Various delays caused us to leave about an hour late. So, our late arrival into Dallas would make our connection to Sao Paulo very difficult.

In Dallas, we ran like hell. And, we made the plane. Last ones on-board. But, we were convinced there was no way our bags could have made it, too. Nine hours and 38 minutes later [an overnight flight] we arrived in Sao Paulo. This was a good flight with only a few sleep interruptions from a loud snorer and a few frustrated babies.

Our luggage did arrive with us . . . this was great news. And passing through immigration and customs in Sao Paulo was a breeze. Waldir's new FT-1000MP Mark V was safely in the country . . . duty-free!

Our hosts, who live in the Sao Paulo area, were kind enough to meet us at the airport and take possession of the Mark V. After exchanging some small welcome gifts, we sat down for a nice Brasilian coffee with Waldir and Javier. And then on to Florianopolis, where we were met by WRTC's designated tour company for a shuttle ride to the hotel. Arrival at the hotel was at around 2pm local time in Brasil. the journey was finally over.

We checked into our nice room with lots of amenities - including high-speed internet - but soon found that we were not happy with the location. We elected to take another room with a nice ocean view, but we were surprised to find out that there was no internet in that room. So . . . all my posts will be from the hotel lobby via a wireless connection instead of the convenience of our room.

Lots of guys have been coming in since we arrived and we had a nice dinner with WRTC Chairman PY5EG and many others. Many sightings of famous contesters have already been recorded. Including lots of YCCC'ers.


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