Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Journey to where south becomes north

Herein lies an attempt to blog my exploits of a small strip of South America known as Patagonia. I can't promise regular posts or amazing insights, but hopefully it will be a fun way to stay connected to all the people I miss!

To start my travels I was kindly chauffeured to Missoula international on March 3 by Kent, in dreadful conditions, at 5:30am.  Though he couldn't be on this trip, I think of him often and am thankful at least for the technology to correspond. But about that journey...

Missoula to Arizona, with a bonus visit to mis padres who generously picked up chauffeuring where Kent left off (with slightly better road conditions). At their house, magic happened as I aggressively stuffed my backpack with camping gear, food, and anticipation (very bulky). And on March 4 I left PHX and any semblance of sleep behind. 

I thought it only appropriate to wear my Patagonia socks as I made it from one airport to another, from Phoenix to Atlanta, to Santiago, to Puerto Montt, and finally to Punta Arenas. I crossed the equator sometime in the middle of the night and just kept going...

But before we get to 90°N, I want to share a couple of nuggets from the 9.5 hour flight to Santiago. Fun parts: seemingly endless supply of movies to choose from. Two meals!! And in one of those meals, the most awesome cookie product a plane has ever made, from a company called Love and Quiche. Seriously.  Seeing the Chilean Andes. In that order, mostly because the Andes were covered in clouds. Less fun parts: watching a movie called Black Swan surrounded by strangers and being left with a generally disturbed feeling for hours after, not to mention the awkward Portman on Portman scenes. Not sleeping. Attempting to put on my new glasses I got for such a steal and realizing why when one of the lenses popped out onto the floor and promptlyc flew under a mystery seat. In the dark. Oh, and everyone spoke Spanish. And believe it or not, but I'm not that great at it. Fortunately, after much gesticulating and mediocre attempts I recruited a Chilean mother to help me... And she found it! Another reason cell phones are awesome (assistance light).

Arriving in Punta Arenas at about 4:30pm Chilean time on the 5th, I felt surprisingly jaunty as I rode a full mini bus into town. The sun was out and the famous Magellanic wind was howling as we drove along the coast. I was excited and curious, hoping the place I'd booked wasn't a dump... more next post! 

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