Landed in New York after flying from Peru’s Lima. What to expect…
…but first, ever been asked: fancy a sailing trip down New York’s Hudson River?
Response: Of course!
And, this is the reason for breaking the South American adventure for a month, to head to the mighty US on a sailing jaunt, then also for some play in New York and Boston.
It’s great when you have no real travel plans and make things up on the fly.
Go with the flow. You never know what options come your way. Plans are much too restricting.
Travel to New York
Although this is an interruption in the extended backpacking trip, there’s always time for a little diversion.
So fly we do, from Lima to New York and very excited!
Travelling through the very busy streets of Lima from Miraflores to the airport for 17 kilometres, we finally arrive at the airport early.
Jorge Chávez International Airport airport, Lima
Always like to arrive early at an airport and especially for an international flight in the hope to get a good seat for the journey.
Why is it that some ground staff at airports go out of their way to be nasty or difficult?
Although we are very early in the cue, the miserable check-in lady at the Delta counter decides to give us separate seats and miles apart, whilst barking orders regarding the gate number.
Don’t bother with Duty-Free at this airport – it’s a rip-off.
Searches at Customs…twice
Having already gone through customs, taking off shoes, belts, and anything else at the officer’s whim before heading to the gate – you know the drill – we go through this a second time.
This time it’s after we show our boarding passes and just before boarding the plane.
Passengers are motioned to go to an area filled with flimsy tables.
Officers go through carryon bags again. I ask why we need to do this all over again when we’ve just been through the scanning and searching process: “that was the airport’s scanning, this is the airline’s scanning”.
The officer pulls out my emergency pack, which includes sanitary items and says “oh” with a bemused expression, to which I reply “haven’t you seen tampons before?”
Sometimes, I just should shut up.
My response causes the officer to become snarly and orders a female officer to frisk search me – my partner also starts giving the officer lip, so he orders a frisk search for my partner.
On we venture to the plane, finally. I’m half-expecting a third scanning at the plane’s door!
Sitting on this midnight Delta Airline flight, we settle in for the long 7-hour journey.
The plane starts taxiing out ever so slowly, only to return after a short time to the gate – one engine won’t start.
Passengers are advised this won’t take long.
After waiting on the plane for 3 hours without food or drink, we finally take off at 3:45 am.
You’d think for an international flight and not a cheap ticket at that, the food would at least be palatable?
Think again. Not on this Delta flight.
The slop that barely resembled a sandwich is served with the tiniest carton of juice you’ve ever encountered in your life, and a grimace from the flight attendant – some people really need a change of career.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta & John F. Kennedy International Airports
With the delay at Lima, of course, we arrive late in Atlanta and miss our connecting flight to JFK.
All is not lost as we manage to take another flight within the hour, to finally arrive in the hustle of JFK airport.
The biggest disappointment of all the delay is that without internet connection during the journey from Lima, we miss the window to buy online tickets for the Radiohead concert in NY – a favourite band that’s playing whilst we’re in NY.
Clearing customs, it’s on to Brooklyn by train.
With a few days to kill before joining friends on their yacht and landing in NY latish in the evening, it’s great to make our way to the pre-booked accommodation in Brooklyn.
Staying in a great basement room on 1322 E 14th St 1-B3, with shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen, is much cheaper for long-term travellers than crippling hotel prices. (Sadly, the 2019 update is that this particular accommodation is no longer available.)
Little did we know that it’s the Jewish New Year tomorrow. As we’re in Brooklyn’s Jewish quarter and it’s a holiday, everything is closed for the weekend and possibly longer.
Scouring the neighbourhood endlessly for food – you wouldn’t think it’s this difficult to eat in the US. Finally stumbling on an open pizza bar serving massive but ordinary pizzas, this fills the spot.
If you want to experience the real New York, then head to the borough of Brooklyn for a raw taste of local life, without pretences.
Tomorrow’s quest is to find the FedEx office in Manhattan that’s holding the NFL tickets for the Boston game. Yes, another little side-trip whilst we’re in the US.
Brooklyn is about 30-minutes on the Subway to Manhattan and a pleasant trip, especially crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
Simply love Manhattan – it’s not my first visit to this incredibly lively island, to which I’ve dedicated a separate post.
After forgetting the FedEx barcode today and combing Manhattan trying to find the office holding our NFL tickets, need to return tomorrow – there are 15 FedEx offices in Manhattan.
Grand Central Terminal – NY to Poughkeepsie
Today we head off for the boat in Poughkeepsie at last and so excited to start this new, once-in-a-lifetime passage.
Just love the continual whirl and buzz in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Not to mention the stunning architecture that envelopes you, which graces many famous photographs throughout the centuries and today.
Comfortable in the Metro-North Railroad’s train, we settle in for the 2-hour journey on the Hudson Line.
The track hugs and snakes its way along the mighty Hudson River offering gorgeous vistas of the lush Hudson Valley, as the hours melt away into the past, and we finally pull in to Poughkeepsie.
A separate post for you next week about the wonderful experience down the Hudson River.
Without too much time to explore New Jersey, this is a great base and only an easy 20-minute trip on the Subway to venture to manic Manhattan.
The Airbnb booking is a lovely clean room in a friendly local’s house, which offers another cheaper alternative than staying in a hostel, hotel, or on Manhattan Island, whilst waiting to return to the boat.
Heading to Boston
After the incredible cruise down the Hudson River, and exploring a little of Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Manhattan, it’s time to take another side-trip for a few days to beautiful Boston for some culture. And, to also watch the NFL game at the Gillette Stadium between the Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.
Check out my separate post on the fabulous Boston jaunt.
Leaving the USA
Following a wonderful month bombarded with so many travel options and experiencing a plethora of sights, but also catching-up with long-time friends, it’s sad to leave our friends behind in the US.