We made it!

Santiago Travel Blog

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Team El Oso arrives in Chile!

It was a LONG day of traveling!  Three and a quarter hours in the rain, to get to the airport.  Then a couple hour flight to Toronto for a three hour layover.  Parkour-Cub and Cub #1 sat together.  She drew him pictures of himself in the clouds.  He really liked being “up in the sky.”  Cub #2 sat behind us on her own, and talked to the guy next to her about iPods. 

The Little guy looked so proud of himself, dragging his little Thomas the Tank Engine carry-on behind him through the immense (and immaculate) Canadian international terminal.  We found a Starbucks and spent an amount of money you can only justify when you’re in an airport.  The we spread the Carro blanket on the floor and camped until it was time to get on the long flight to Chile.

The 767 to Santiago was packed.  I didn’t see an empty seat.  But nearly everyone was actually bound for Buenos Aires.  The Toronto leg was scheduled from 23:55 to arrive at about 11:30.  I think we got in a little early.  It was a very bumpy flight, in addition to being long.  Cub #1 lost her lunch, and I came close!  Good thing the little ones were really good.  They slept nearly all the way, and then woke happy and quiet.

In Santiago, we had Immigration all to ourselves.  It’s still the off-season, and the folks on the flight we came in on were nearly all going on to Argentina.  It must have been a really scenic flight over the Andes at midday!  It was beautifully clear today, and all the mountains were snow-covered above the tree-line.  The very tip of Aconcagua was covered by a little cap of fluffy clouds.  I almost scrounged under the seat for a camera, but fatigue and motion sickness got the better of me.  We had to pay the $100 reciprocity fee for Baby Cub, since she hadn’t been here before.  Now we can all come and go for free until it’s time to renew our Passports.

We were out of Customs with our luggage nearly an hour before we expected to be.  But the van driver was there waiting for us.  He must have been watching the flight arrivals, and been aware we were early.  The van was a Hyundai H1, which is what we’re thinking of getting.  So it was almost like a test drive.  Seemed like a nice vehicle.  We had more help than we needed getting stuff into the van and back out of it, and into our room at La Sebastiana Apart-Hotel. Liberal tips all around.

The apartment-style suite is great.  mama-bear and I went out for groceries, and stocked the fridge.  There’s a good supermarket right around the block.  This isn’t an area of Santiago where we’ll need to be particularly concerned about walking around.  Las Condes is one of the most patrician areas of the city.  The sky is pretty clear today.  The mountains tower over the city.  What a sense of perspective they give the little skyscrapers!

Met a guy from Australia and his Chilean girlfriend while shopping.  We went around a corner and our little guy yelled out “Juice!” at the huge selection of 2 liter bottles.  A stranger smiled and said, “it’s SO NICE to hear English!”  He’s only been here three weeks.  I wonder if we’ll get to that point?  Gotta get to work on Spanish first thing tomorrow!

The Duranzo (apricot) juice, fresh Pan (bread) and Paltas (avocados) I had when we returned from shopping made me think, “Yeah, we’re finally HERE!”  As if those three things are the essence of Chile.  It’s good to be back. 

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photo by: Bluetraveler