March 30, 2014
This morning we spent some time in Tarapoto getting some gifts for family and friends. Hammocks, hats, and cultural clothing was purchased by the fistfuls, and then we rode the Motokars back to the hotel. After that we checked out of our rooms and waited for our afternoon shuttle the airport.
This next part requires a bit of explaining. When tickets for SOULS Northwest were purchased the internet discount ticket company (to remain unnamed) would only allow 9 tickets to be purchased at a time, so we purchased two blocks of tickets on all the same flights—except one. And it was that one flight that none of us realized was different. So, when we got to Tarapoto airport at 4:15 and checked into our 5:55 flight, we found that most of us had already missed our 2:15 flight. A lesson learned here is “trust Jason, but verify.”
We followed the advice of a seasoned international traveler and purchased ticks for all of us to fly from Tarapoto to Lima to catch the next leg of our flight (can someone please donate $2,100 for the changed tickets?).
So, we got to Lima, and come to find out the seasoned traveler’s advice was incorrect—we were unable to board our flight in Lima, but we did get on standby for the following day (see tomorrow’s story for more details on that). A quick call to Ramon back in Tarapoto and the local mission personnel were on their way to pick us up and take us to a hotel…
The only problem was that 11 pm pay-phone communication was sketchy and it was the Tarapoto mission that went to pick us up at the Tarapoto airport. We waited for an hour and a half in the middle of all the whizzing airport traffic first singing happily as we thought about hotel beds, then diligently searching each and every car and van that passed for anything that might be Adventist, then slumping beside the curb just hoping someone was looking for us. Eventually I decided to call Ramon back and the mystery was solved.