January 18th 2014
Distance – 5493 miles as the crow flies
Travel time – ~24 hours door to door
This was a brutal travel day. After far too much beer, too many cocktails, and too little sleep, Martyn bangs on the door of the “Princess Suite” to wake me up at 3am. I can’t figure out how the shower works so it is a quick splash in the sink and I’m down for coffee. At 3:20 Martyn packs me off in the taxi and the trip home as begun.
Check-in is smooth with the exception of passports – the US does not want visitors without visas so I have to use my US passport, not my UK passport which I used here to avoid the “reciprocal fee”.
I hit the COPA lounge and stock up on liquid because for some reason I’m feeling dehydrated. Boarding is easy as I’m in the first group and have a window seat. I stash my gear and crash immediately to catch another couple of hours sleep.
On waking, I’m treated to breakfast and this view from the plane.
The rest of the trip is pretty tedious. I catch up on some of the blog posts, I read the Bike magazines that Martyn has given me, avoiding the 900 page book I lugged around with me. I spend hours in COPA lounge in Panama City, where my flight is delayed for a couple of hours. MacBean breaks the tedium by Facetiming me from home. The lads had arrived home without incident and were trying to stay awake until a reasonable time.
Finally, my flight to Houston takes off and we arrive without incident. Immigration and customs is a breeze – all electronic these days. Given my delay, I have just enough time to grab a sandwich before the flight to Denver.
Lisa met at the baggage claim where my luggage has arrived this time. She gets me home by which time I’m acting like a zombie. As I walked into the house, I closed the garage door on her and had no recollection of doing it. I have to get to bed. It’s midnight Denver time, 4am in Chile. We are leaving for the Broncos/Patriots game tailgate at 9am the next morning.