Our bags made it to Buenos Aires too! Yay!
There are two airports in Buenos Aires, the one we're at and the one from which our flight to Ushuaia departs. It's 9ish in the morning and our flight is scheduled for 3ish that afternoon. On the original schedule we would have been in the Vista Sol last night but no luck, no bed. We do have reservations for a comfy bed and shower at a hotel tonight in Ushuaia.
We elect to go straight to the other airport and see about the possibility of an earlier flight.
In the taxi we note that there appears to have been some bad weather. Our very nice driver (all three of the guys who gave us rides in Buenos Aires were very friendly dudes) concurs. The people who vomited on the flight in do as well.
The scene at the airport is disheartening. Every station at the terminal checkin desks has a line back to the opposite wall. Few desks are staffed. The monitors are not quite clear but it looks like every flight is either delayed or cancelled.
Vast tracts could be written here about this day (and night). Scholars someday may discuss it as the paradigmatic example of South American bureaucratic social dynamics. Nobody knew what was going on, rumors spread in many languages and more and more people came in the doors as the day advanced.
We were there from about 11am to about 4am. We never did get on the flight for which we eventually got boarding passes (deep into the afternoon or evening, who knows, time got away from us). After many of the lights in the terminal had been turned off and a few hundred were still milling around waiting for something to happnen, we got in a line for a plane that said it was going where we wanted to go.
For those several hours in the terminal we didn't know, and many of those people crammed up against the checkin desks on the squalid ground floor right out of the 1950s didn't know, that upstairs was a perfectly modern terminal area with a food court, some shops and, hosanna, some space with some nice cool hard tile to nap upon.
My attorney, Sean, has some documentation to that effect which I hope to produce soon.
The plane sits at the gate for perhaps an hour, to torment. 3 hours later, we call it December 18th, 2006 and we're in Ushuaia.