Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US

Feb
13
1998

Sao Paulo holdover - Friday 13th flight nightmare.

Sao Paulo holdover - Friday 13th flight nightmare. With over 30 hours of plane and airport ahead, the first leg goes badly wrong. Nothing to do but wait and amuse yourselves.

So here we go, setting off on a journey that no humans in their right mind would undertake. Still, as that is a category to which we clearly do not belong, we bravely faced the 22 hours flying with 9 hours in airport layovers. "Have a nice day". And its Friday 13th to boot - now there's poetic justice for you.

Later that same day... Sao Paolo. Yes, Brazil. What the hell are we doing here? You may well ask.. Everything was going just fine from boarding our flight in Chile to the first stop over here in Sao Paulo. It was supposed to be a three hour layover, then on to Johannesburg. There are fifteen of us traveling in our group, so we found a secluded corner of a lounge with a TV showing the movie "Amadeus" dubbed into Portuguese, which was good for chuckles (they had trouble getting his manic laugh right). We had a few drinks and fooled around, killing time & attempting to get into a suitably Zen frame of mind to attempt two ten-hour flights in succession. Then comes the first announcement. Flight delayed due to a mechanical problem. Oh well, every minute we spend here is a minute less we spend at the six-hour Johannesburg layover, so no great drama. Further announcements followed, and the delay time continued to increase until they eventually announced that Varig Airlines was canceling the flight altogether. At this point things started to get really "interesting". Varig could put us on the same flight tomorrow, but the Johannesburg to Perth connection only flies on certain days of the week and tomorrow's not one of them. As I've already mentioned our road crew was flying a completely different routing due to scarcity of seats, so we knew there weren't going to be many options, if any at all. The slightest hint of panic began to set in. Tour manager Dennis Sheehan set about finding new possible routings, as the rest of us started drinking heavily as it was clear we were going to be treated to another night in Sao Paulo. Friday the 13th was living up to its reputation. By 2am we'd had enough and Varig were ready to ship us off to the delightfully seedy "Hotel Deville" nearby. Friday 13th at the Hotel Deville - it was starting to read like a promising screenplay. Crammed into a small van we set off to the hotel feeling tired, hungry, a little cranky, but largely heroic. We joked about the hotel laying on lavish hospitality for us and so forth, so imagine depth of our joy when we arrived to find the hotel restaurant still open. At a loss for words! Notes could not spell out the score! When you're tired enough, the slightest events can feel like major victories, and in the "Motel 666" ambience we feasted like kings on dubious Brazilian delicacies, well, pasta anyway. Went to bed at 3am with a rumoured departure time of 9am, though quite where we're going to fly to I'm not sure. Still, on a positive note, as Larry pointed out "I'm glad they found the technical problem before we got on the plane...". I wonder if I'll ever see my bags again?

Related Topics

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
7
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.