Day 5: London / Grand Cayman Island
Ok let me just tell you that this morning coming in through Heathrow security I had an epiphany. Well me and the security lady. I got the body search again today, even more thorough than in Dubai and not in a closed room this time either (embarrassing!). The little Passport Defender that I purchased to keep my passport safe and tamper proof – sets off the security scanners. Bin for that little fella!
When I arrive in Miami, I have gone back in time. Not only by the six hours difference between here and London, but it seems the airport hasn’t been upgraded in a lot longer than six years! Heading through the airport corridors, the place seems deserted. I’m not sure what’s going on here, whether they are in the middle of renovations and this part of the airport is no longer being used or whether this is actually a ghost terminal! Turns out the airport was set to be renovated with works to be completed in 2011. Then 2012. Obviously there’s been a glitch in the plans. Finally after about half an hour of walking empty terminal corridors, I reach Customs where I stay for about the next hour. It’s such a slow process – finally an airport that rivals or is worse than Perth!
Finally though, I’m on my short little flight to Grand Cayman Island and before I know it, we are touching down. Disembarking the plane into the tropical warmth of the Cayman night air, I can hear and see some people cheering and through my weariness notice that it’s Katie. I’ve finally made it, well almost. Customs is actually a breeze, but on the other side of the gates, I can see luggage – a lot less than there should be for the amount of people that got off the plane. And of course, mine is not there. Great! After filling out the forms, I finally head out of the small airport and see Katie and Yoshi. This trip has been such a long time coming.
It was touch and go whether I was actually going to be holidaying on Grand Cayman Island or whether my plans would change and I would be touching down somewhere else entirely different. Whilst this possibility didn’t bother me in itself, in fact, I was a little intrepid about spending two weeks on an island surrounded by water (hello – I’m a fire sign!), iguanas, stingrays and turtles and not having a plan for what might lay ahead for those two weeks was a first for me.
It can in no way come close to what my poor friends Katie and Yoshi have had to put up with. They had endured months of uncertainty in trying to establish a life here for themselves. Bureaucracy and red tape almost made plans to spend a year on this “island paradise” remain a dream and resulted in them living in different countries for almost two months – difficult for fairly newlyweds that hadn’t spent much time apart since getting married.
In the end everything has turned out ok and for someone like me who plans everything, its been a good reminder that even the best laid plans can, and sometimes do, go wrong.
So it was a very much deserved glass (ahem, bottle) of wine to celebrate with tonight!
I just hope my luggage turns up tomorrow, but for now, all I want is sleep.