Double Trouble travelsDecember 10, 2007
We had travelled many a times with one child but this was the first time travelling with two little ones and I was a bit apprehensive.
On our departure London was as rainy as ever and we were in heavy Friday evening traffic on route to the airport. Oh boy was I looking forward to the Summer in Brazil.
It took all of 6 large suitcases, 4 carry-ons, one car seat and one foldable buggy to fit all the necessities. Needless to say the manoeuvring of it all was worthy a circus stunt.
The suitcases were mostly filled with Christmas presents and baby clothes and the carry-ons were mostly filled with baby food, nappies, creams, toys, bits and bops.
Me and my wife had to do with a few t-shirts and some swimming wear.
To my huge surprise and relief the little ones are both at the right age of sleeping most of the night so once they settled in (the little one in a cot, the bigger one in his own chair) they were fine.
Well, besides the occasional sliding down the chair and sleeping like a bum on the cabin floor.
This was a huge change compared to 12 months ago when every 1.5 hours of sleep were followed by 1 hour of walking around the plane and saying hello to everybody.
The trip would have been fairly painless but for me accidentally grabbing the wrong bag from the baggage belt. To my defence the bag was a black Nike sports bag with an orange ribbon... just like ours.
I went back to the airport shortly after discovering the mistake. The bag was located fairly quickly and a friend went to the lost baggage office to pick it up (I was having lunch).
There were a few people picking up lost luggage and one person with 7 bags (!) being interrogated by the customs.
The person was told to pay an import duty of US$ 6,000 and since the import duty is 100% in Brazil he must have been trying to get in US$ 6,000 worth of iPhones and PS3s. The man broke down in tears (did somebody tell him that the iPhone is not 3G?).
I failed to mentioned to my friend the combination of the lock and what was inside the bag so he had to be creative when quizzed about the contents.
He guessed correctly that there were wrapped Christmas presents inside the bag and prayed open the zipper without the staff noticing and thus was allowed to take the bag with him.
The airline staff always have to inquire about the bag contents because all lost or forgotten bags are carried by the airline staff through customs without any inspection. I guess it would be too easy to "forget" a bag full of illegal stuff and pick it up rick free on the other side.
This was the easy part of our trip; the real adventure started when I went to North East Brazil to meet up with friends on their honeymoon but more about that next time.