Deju Vu all over again…

Back in 2013, Jane and I were headed to Europe to ride a bicycle Camino, from Barcelona, Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. We arranged with the cruise line to allow us to take our bicycles onto the ship. They were going to keep them with the crew member bicycles.

Everything was in place and the day before we left Jane called the cruise line, just to confirm all was still okay. If it wasn’t, we would have to very quickly find a way to leave the bikes in Miami.

When she reached the cruise office, nobody there knew anything about the arrangements. The person she had arranged everything with was off that day and left no record. Panic!!!

Since we had to leave very early the next morning, there was no way to contact the person responsible. The only alternative was to take off all of the bicycle equipment from our bicycles, such as luggage racks, panniers, tools, spares, odometers, bells, in essence, everything. I rushed out to our bicycle storage shed and spent several hours taking everything off and finding sufficient old suitcases and bags to put everything in. This amounted to an additional seven large bags we had not intended on bringing, 11 bags in total.

We ended up having to buy two bicycles in Barcelona, Spain when we arrived. Expensive? Yes. We didn’t have much choice.

Leaving the bike store in Barcelona, Spain

Later, after the cruise, we did contact the person responsible and there was a document allowing us to bring the bikes, but it was a little late at that point.

Tonight, I checked the tracking number at Fed-Ex for my bicycle that I shipped last Friday, five days ago. For reasons I cannot imagine, even with the holiday, it didn’t go out until this morning. This means it won’t arrive in Oregon until July 12th. This leaves me only a few choices:

  1. Change my flight that leaves in a few hours, early tomorrow morning. Delta will charge me $200+ to change the flight.
  2. Take the scheduled flight and hang around in Portland, Oregon for five days. No offence Portland, I hear you’re a nice city, but that could get expensive, even more than the $200+.
  3. There is no “third” option, at least not one that I can think of.

Two of the boxes that I shipped via USPS to a wonderful couple in Lincoln City, OR arrived today and they were going to pick me up tomorrow afternoon. I had to contact them and let them know I won’t be there. Bummer, I feel like an idiot.

How I miss those carefree days, back in the sixties, when one could just run into the airport, grab a ticket and hop a plane. Some things have just not gotten better with time and flying is one of them. As I write this, I have a call into Delta to speak with a representative. The automated answering service told me there is an “over” two-hour wait for the return call. Two hours! If they’re that busy, they might consider hiring more people to answer phones. Two hours.

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

4 thoughts on “Deju Vu all over again…”

  1. Hang in there, Dennis. Extra days in Portland don’t sound so bad, though you may spend even more at Powell’s Books. I know you will have a great time.

  2. My nephew Michael Daigle and his family live in Newberg OR. I’m sure they would put you up on their couch for a few days. Nice hiking trails by their area. 🙂

    1. Gee, too bad I didn’t know ahead of time, I could have possibly spent a few days there and flown out early. Oh well, thanks for the offer anyway. I’ll be leaving this coming Monday.

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