My taxi driver arrived on time and thankfully was not a sleazy, chatty one, so I could just kick back and enjoy the passing scenery emerging with the brightening of the new day. I had plenty of time to check in at the airport and after checking in my backpack, continued on to Customs where I again needed to explain my (for regular travellers) unorthodox passport stamps. Either the official was bored or I was getting better at convincing them I was not a drug mule. Either way, the process was becoming less painful. I think the Travel God of Passport Irregularities had decided I had learned my lesson and would give me a break from all the intense questioning.
I found my boarding gate, then proceeded to find somewhere to eat. Arriving back for when boarding should have started, I was surprised to see another destination with another airline posted on the board. I quizzed one of the airline staff and found that the plane had been delayed for several hours and we would be boarding later in the afternoon at a different gate. So much for needing to be at the airport so early! I wandered down to the rescheduled gate and checked that the information was indeed correct. The airline official I spoke to there told me quite firmly that my flight had already left, leaving me in a state of mild panic. I begged him to check and he was all apologies when he came back shortly thereafter to admit he was wrong.
After my near flight miss experience, I decided the place to pass the delay was the nearest bar which fortunately had wifi. The Travel God of Foreign Currency urged me to use the last of my USD to buy Pilsener, as it would probably be the last chance I had to savour this tasty ale. I think that was probably the longest stop over I had ever had, however, it passed pleasantly enough and before long we were boarding the plane for the flight to Cancun.
Rising up above the volcanos El Salvador are famous for was a magical experience. I was able to trace some of my land journey from the air and see the terrain from a completely different perspective. It was a lovely way to finish the trip to this intruiging and beautiful part of the world. We reached the Caribbean somewhere over Puerto Barrios in Guatemala and I used my Lonely Planet maps to navigate our whereabouts in the clear blue sky. I was amazed at how accurate the maps were as every little spit , cay and bay was marked clearly enough for me to work out where we were. I was now able to retrace my journey of two years ago through Belize from the air.
Cancun Airport is now starting to feel quite familiar as I have been using it as a transit post for a few trips. I caught the ADO bus into town and checked into the hostel I usually stay in when in Cancun. I ducked into the little restaurant next door to get more reliable wifi and found myself deep in conversation with the Mexican chef about my recent journey. As he had never been to that part of Central America, he was quite interested to learn more. An interesting evening passed before bunking down for my last evening in Latin America. For this trip anyway…