It could only happen to me

The Peru Adventure has kicked off with a bang, as usual. It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have problems right from the get go.

Let me start by saying all is well, and all 13 of us are safely united and at Hotel Antigua Miraflores which is lovely and rich in culture. I truly adore the hotel and will write a post about it soon.

We touched down this morning in Lima at 6:34am, one minute ahead of schedule. We headed in through the airport, through immigration and off to get our luggage. Slowly each person found their bag and headed off to customs. Then, there were only a handful of us around and no more luggage coming down the belt. Everyone from my group had their luggage in hand.

Yup, you guessed it, no luggage for Shari. I don’t even think I got pissed off about it. I just simply said ‘that figures’ and went to talk to the lost baggage people. Of course, we have no idea where it got lost. Did it never leave Halifax? Did it not make the switch from the plane in Toronto to the new plane heading to Lima? No one knows.

So, luckily, I have the clothes on my back (although not really appropriate for the 25 degree weather in Lima, my sweater, my rain jacket and all of my camera and electronic gear. I have a toothbrush and deodorant, and a pair of underwear. I’ll NEVER go on a plane again without a change of clothes in my carry-on.

Am I mad? No, not really. It’s not the first time my luggage has been lost. Although, its a really crappy way to start a 15 day photography tour. No idea why everyone else’s luggage from Halifax made it and mine didn’t, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Guess it’s just another test for me.

I do recall saying ‘Well, if they lost it, they pay for it.’ Thankfully I have travel insurance to cover this. I’m insured, so if I could get in touch with any of them, I’d make arrangements to get a claim started.

Problem number 2. Although I have all of my emergency travel insurance contact information, I’m not able to make a collect call from the hotel. Not sure if it isn’t possible or if the person at the front desk doesn’t know how, but right now … I can’t get in touch with Insurance. Both insurance companies I deal with have 1-800 numbers for within Canada or US, but if you are outside US, you have to call collect. Apparently that’s not so easy from here.

When (if) they find my luggage, they’ll send it to my hotel here in Lima, if it is found today or tomorrow. Otherwise, I continue on without it and they’ll send it to catch up with me wherever I may be. Unfortunately, there are limited options for it catching up with me. For example, if I don’t get it by Tuesday, I won’t get it until Friday because there are no airports in the middle of the lake. Go figure!

So, here’s hoping it arrives tomorrow morning. Not to mention the fact that my printed materials for my photo workshops tomorrow are packed in that luggage. I have my power point slide show though, so I’m not in a panic. I just don’t have my fun game for participants and their cheat sheets.

It’s 4:15pm here now. I did some internet research and discovered that I need to dial 809 in order to make a collect call. The operators only speak Spanish though, so I’m glad I spent seven weeks in Dominican Republic learning Spanish this past summer!

I have a claim started and as of 6:30 local time tonight (12 hours after my flight), I can buy up to $100 worth of emergency clothing and toiletries to get me through. So, tonight, I will be doing a little shopping! If my luggage gets returned, I just have a few extra ‘souvenirs’ from Peru. If it doesn’t get returned, I’ll have clean clothes.

Travel Tip 1: Always pack a change of clothes in your carry on!
Travel Tip 2: Never travel without insurance.

Now, I’m off to take some photos of this beautiful hotel that we are staying in so I can post about it. It’s simply lovely.

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