I didn’t get to sleep till close to 1:30 last night. The problems was that we had to be at a bus station called Cruz del Sur in Javier prado, and the phone number I was given to set up an appointment with the taxi company did not work. I kept getting a message saying that the number was disconnected. I downloaded the Uber app, but I was having problems sending a SMS confirmation. I remember that the lady who helped me out at the travel agency wrote down the name of the Taxi company, so I did a quick google search and found out that they have an app. The company is called Taxi Satelital, and I have to admit that I was a bit dubious about whether or not it would work. I downloaded it from the apple store and after setting up my account, a map popped with an interface that looks exactly like Uber. I could see where I was and all of the taxis in the surrounding areas. I tried to set up a few rides without doing any final confirmation and it seemed like it would work just fine. I decided to call it a night and headed to bed to get at least a couple hours of sleep before heading out.
I actually woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm went off. It was about 2:15 in the morning. I opened the app, and everything seemed to function. When we were all ready to go, I hit the hire a driver section of the app, and we were ready to go. We headed down the stairs and into the elevator. We all looked a little tired, but I probably looked worse than everyone else.
I remember the previous day when we met our host she told us that from time to time, the door man will fall asleep and you have to wake him up. Sometimes it is easy but sometimes you have to do a lot of work to get him going. When we got to the first floor, he was indeed asleep. It was actually a lot more impressive that I imagined. He had a makeshift bed with a blanket and he was completely out on the floor behind his desk. I had never seen anything like it. Under normal circumstances, I would not waste my time waking someone up when I could just open the front door and leave and if that were the case, that’s what I would have done. However, these were not normal circumstances because right outside the front door was a metal gate that was locked and there was no way that we could open it without the key from the doorman.
Were were able to get him up. He was not happy about it but, it’s his job so he had to do it. He opened the door and we jumped into the cab and we were off. The ride to the station was pleasant; it took us close to half an hour to arrive. There was a lot of traffic on the road and I asked the driver if this was common. He said yes and the reason was because of all the clubs that were still going. I asked him what time the clubs normally closed; he laughed.
We arrived at the station just before 3:30 in the morning. We got our stuff out and paid our driver. When we got up to the ticket counter the employee asked to see our passports. Passports? None of us had brought our physical passports because were were not told that we had to have the original copies. We used photographs to arrange the trip and figured those would work. The employee said that it was mandatory to have the passports and we would not be able to go on our trip if we did not have them.
We did not know what to do. Our bus left in half an hour and we were half an hour from the house. We exited the bus station and I saw an taxi parked outside with a young guy at the wheel. I knocked on the window, and he opened. I told him that we were in a tight spot. We have a bus that is leaving in half and hour and we need our passports that are at the city center. We need to get our passports and come back to the bus so that we would not miss our departure and lose our money. He said he would give it a try but he didn’t know if he could make it. We got in the car, and we were off.
We made it to our AirBnB in just about 12 minutes…
We slammed on the front door to wake the doorman up. This time he was not happy. He was out cold, and it took him a little while to get going. He opened the door, and as we passed by, I told him that we forgot our passports and that we would run up, grab them, and the come back down. That is exactly what we did. On our way out the door, I thanked him and he gave us a look that did not show that he wanted to say your are welcome.
We jumped back into the car and we sped back toward the bus station. The driver weaved in and out of traffic. He cut off cars, honked, and squeezed others out of there lane. He pulled up to the station, and we got there with a little less that 10 minutes before our bus was Scheduled to depart. Amazing…(to be continued)