Monday, September 13, 2010

Long Trip Made Longer

We are now back in the Philippines. There is still a 6 hour journey ahead of us before we make it home to Bontoc, but we are spending a few days in Baguio as we adjust to the different time zone and take care of some business.

On Thursday morning we arrived with all of our luggage (this is no small feat) at the South Bend airport. After saying "see you later" to family and friends who had come to see us off (one claimed he was there just to make sure we left) we boarded the plane and flew to Chicago. Because of time zones, we arrived about 5 minutes before we left. Here ends the "according to plan" part of our journey.

In Chicago, we were supposed to have a 3 hour layover. 10 hours later we began boarding the plane (for the second time). About 2 hours later we actually took off for Hong Kong.

The airline set us up with a hotel in Hong Kong because we would miss our connection due to the delay. That was a nice gesture, but it was rather thin on effect. When we arrived in Hong Kong, we needed to collect our luggage, go through immigration, go through customs, and make our way to the hotel. Fortunately it was connected and we did not need to walk too far. But since it was 2:30 am before we made it out of the airport and we needed to be back at 6:30 am, it was not particularly restful. We are thankful for the opportunity to shower and rest on something softer and more private than an airport bench.

When we returned to the airport, we went to a few different desks before finally finding where we needed to check-in. (Bit-by-bit, we are learning Filippino languages. But our Chinese is really lacking.) We rechecked our luggage and headed through security, arriving at our gate at the scheduled time. Again, our flight was delayed, but this time for only half an hour.

The flight was uneventful. My only ???? was when the stewardess asked if I would like tea and made sure I had a cup and stirrer but never returned with tea. Oh well...

In Manila, we did not have any wait to get through Immigration and we proceeded to the baggage claim area. Once again, a traveler's irritation arose. 2 of our bags were not on the plane. We filed the appropriate forms and headed for customs and the passenger pick-up area. No problem with customs.

Passenger pick-up, now that's another story. We had worked through a friend in Baguio to arrange a driver to pick us up at the airport in Manila and take us directly to Baguio (a 6-7 hour journey). Remember all of those delays? Well our driver had come and waited several hours for us to show up at the airport. He did not get the message of our delay until he was nearly back to Baguio. So there we are without a ride. Fortunately, we were able to make arrangements and made it to Baguio.

Last night, our missing luggage arrived where we are staying in Baguio. All of it seems to have made the trip intact.

We are thankful that God has brought us and our things safely to the Philippines.


  1. What a bummer of a trip! Glad to hear that you all arrived safely and have acquired all your possessions. Smart idea to stay in Baguio for a break and to take care of business before you head back to the boondocks! ;)

    Welcome back!

  2. I'm SO glad your bags made it after all!!! oh my.
    I feel for you. We've lived our share of exciting travel stories as well...

    enjoy those kindles!!


    amy in peru