New York to Santiago, Chile

Via Lima, Peru

5172 miles/8275 Km

2 - 3 October 2006

Photo Gallery and Commentary

The flight from New York to Santiago was uneventful... unless you consider getting real meals with real silverware without paying extra an event. One other thing you can say for the trip was that it was long 16 hours door to door. We left home at 8:30 p.m. and arrived at the hotel in Santiago around 12:30 p.m. the next day (no time difference this time of year). The flight route was almost a straight line south. We left JFK and flew south along the east coast of the US, over the Bahamas and Cuba. We turned a bit to the west over Panama and continued in a southerly direction over western Columbia, Ecuador and into Lima, Peru. As we approached Lima the sun started to peek out over the Andes Mountains turning the few clouds into gold. Unfortunately, a low cloud deck prevented us from seeing any of the terrain as we approached Lima.

The layover in Lima was less than an hour so we did not get off the plane. It is another 1,500 miles from Lima to Santiago, a three hour flight. Lima is on the coast and two thirds of the flight was over water. As we approached the Chilean coast at La Serena, a beach town north of Santiago, the skies cleared we were rewarded by a panorama of snow covered mountains as far as the eye could see. As we proceeded south, the snow cover increased. Unfortunately, the clear skies were replaced by an overcast as we approached Santiago. The weather forecast for the next few days is for cloudy skies so it may impact some of our plans.

When we got through Immigration and Customs we were met by our cousin, Sam Kaufman. He had taken a few hours off from work to ensure that we would find our way to the hotel. It has been seven years since our last visit to Chile and the airport and the roads have changed and Sam didn't want us to get lost. We had discussed this possibility last week and I tried to dissuade him from doing this. I was very glad that he came as it made the trip into town a lot more pleasant. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I wouldn't have taken a wrong turn as some of the signs are confusing. Sooner or later we are going to have to negotiate the Santiago roads without a guide.