Santiago to New York

Via Lima, Peru

5172 miles/8275 Km

13 - 14 October 2006

Photo Gallery and Commentary

If I were paranoid, I would think that LAN Chile is involved in a conspiracy to separate us. On the way to Punta Arenas, they had us seated in different parts of the plane. Once pointed out, it was corrected. Now, as we checked in for the flight home, they did it again. We had booked these flights six months ago and got our seat assignments at that time. I reconfirmed the seating assignment about a month ago. The LAN agent could not change our seats since the plane was full. I asked for a supervisor and he was finally was able to give us our original seats. I should have been suspicious of the ease with which the supervisor was able to correct the problem. What happened to the person assigned my seat? Well, I found out when a young women came up to us in the plane and said that I was in her seat. I replied that I'm in my seat next to my wife. The flight attendant got her another seat.

Prior to leaving for the airport, most of the Chilean cousins took us out to lunch in a very nice restaurant. The two that couldn't make it because of school, Mauricio and Ilani, called to wish us a good trip. After the very late lunch (I have to get back to a normal schedule), we returned to the hotel. We had asked for a taxi to pick us up at 5:15 but because of the weather, very heavy rain, the family suggested we give ourselves more time. We left at 4:45 and it did take longer than usual to make the run to the airport.

The flight was long but relatively easy. I couldn't sleep except in a series of naps. On the other hand, Susie slept most of the way. Our friends, Fran and Mel, picked us up at JFK Airport and took us home.

This was a great trip. The time we had with our family in Santiago was wonderful. They could not have treated us any better. If that was all there was to the trip, it would have been enough. The five days in Patagonia were, despite the weather, fantastic. As some of the locals say, we went to the end of the earth and we saw some sights of a lifetime. The odds of us returning there in the future are slim because we have many other places we want to visit. Even though it is 7,000 air miles from New York to Punta Arenas, we recommend this trip to others. People who are into rougher pursuits than four star hotels and tour guides, will find plenty to do in the National Parks of southern Patagonia. There are numerous campgrounds and hiking trails and climbing opportunities in Torres del Paine National Park as well as other national parks in the area.