So part two of the Fight For Peace Adventure is mostly based around Airports and Aeroplanes and seriously cacking myself at the thought of how to survive without a parachute!.
It all started early Saturday morning, thankfully I already knew Chris Quinn well enough so the thought of making acquaintances with 9 other new people on what I thought was a 13 hour journey wasn’t too daunting. Believe it or believe it not I am quite shy and have to really work hard to behave half human when I meet new people, one to one I am not too bad but new groups I dread! I suppose there is a test somewhere I should really take for this and get myself a diagnosis but its probably too late for that now. Anyway the series of misfortunate events began when we heard there was a slight delay on our flight from Belfast to London. No biggee you would have thought; but ooh no it meant that there was a severe possibility that we would not make our connecting Flight to Rio.
We didn’t make it, by about 5 minutes…good news though our bags did! In my head I really cant work out why a bag can make a flight and something with two legs cannot, but then as I have said I missed being tested years ago!
Anyway British Airways decided that we would have to have a 10 hour wait in the airport and that instead of Rio they would put us on a flight to Sao Paulo and then get us a connection to Rio after that..simple enough you would think, so did we.
Ok 10 hours in Heathrow with a grand £10 voucher to spend from BA, nothing for it than to grab a seat and start sampling some beer. If nothing else this would help with the “Get to Know You” part of the course and save time in Rio for real work. Little did anyone of us realise that this would begin a 56 hour trip to our final destination. I promised George the Stroke City Rep that I would give my thoughts on the group so throughout these posts I will try my best, however it was becoming clear that this group would make a great TV documentary, we all agreed the best title would have been “W**kers In Brasil” and I guarantee it would top the ratings.
We found a great spot to sit and eat and spend our £10 voucher and after 10 hours of waffle, craic and beer a clear group dynamic was forming, most of which was very positive, I say most… but like any group there is always a negative connotation that eventually only serves to bring the group closer in the end.
10 hours pissed, sorry passed very quickly and we were bound for Brasil on a 747 jumbo jet to Sao Paulo. I sat in a row with 3 of the funniest guys I have met in a while, Chris, Colm and Mark and behind me Johnny McClurg from Monkstown got an even better seat beside 3 nuns, I sh*t you not, little did we know he got the best seat of all! We were ready to rock.
The takeoff was grand the Air Stewards were very accommodating, especially to myself and Mark for some reason, I was even offered advise on dying my beard by my new friend Paul! However the fun was to change to uncontrolled panic when the lights went out, the stewards started to panic offering us unlimited drink to ease the pain and the Captain ( the only fecker with a parachute) told us we were making an emergency stop in Lisbon (not Lisburn as I first thought). When the plane started dumping all its fuel the reality kicked in. Typical Irish though we drank more and started singing, we even made a video just in case, Johnny behind me was holding onto the nuns and I swear I heard him ask for some RoseMary Beads:)
After 25 minutes of noise and darkness, Colm standing on pish in the pitch black toilets..we made a crazy, bumpy landing followed by ambulances and fire engines..We landed in Lisbon Portugal at around 4am in the morning…nearly 24 hours later and still no sign of Rio..it seemed like the 2 years of work with Fight For Peace was not meant to be.
In part 3 Portugal, Sao Paulo, mental, drunk taxi drivers, tantrums and still no clean trunks!