A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3

Day 3

Managed, thankfully, to sleep in and awoke with very little jet lag. After hearty breakfast busied ourselves with sorting out IT and camera gear in anticipation of little in the way of network access once further South - GoPro have helpfully just updated the firmware for our video camera, here's hoping for an improvement as the damn thing has locked up 3 times already - the guys joining us also have the same camera so hopefully we can get some good video from multiple angles on the boat.

Managed to walk the length and breadth of the town (Punta Arenas) several times in the morning before deciding to chill and sit in eclectic coffee shop - not much hope of doing similar for another 6 weeks!

Claire bugged out of going swimming in the Straights of Magellan due to pollution not the cold (she claims!) instead she has suggested a dip in the Beagle Channel tomorrow which ought to be both cleaner and colder :-)

Managed a bit of wildlife spotting on the water front, some Guanay Cormorants (we think) - massive things two or three times the size of ours and on the semi-endangered list, no whales though as it sounds like they have moved North to breed.

Sat writing this enjoying a cold beer in the hotel bar listening to 80's pop and reliving school/college days.

Met up with those crew not already separated for Puerto Williams for a last meal in Punta Arenas and what a fantastic meal it was in Damiana Elena, but UK prices which was a bit of a shock, but very nice place and food, highly recommended.

Early start tomorrow as we're off to the airport for the final leg of the Journey South.

Posted by AndyWi1son 04:31 Comments (1)

Day 2

Destination Punta Arenas

Day 2

Claire's happy Chilean airlines serve tea, albeit with powdered milk!

Approach to Santiago the lower end of the Andes somewhat obscured by low cloud but the higher mountains sticking out appear shockingly barren - brown desert like and very dry even the valleys between appear waterless and very little water, the only green being a few vineyards on the lower slopes.

Santiago airport a convenient breakfast stop and as our port or arrival we need to clear customs before heading off to Puerto Montt on route to Punta Arenas.

Presumed Puerto Montt was just a fuel stop but most of the plane got off and refilled with second batch of passengers. Presumably due to the extensive fish farming industry which seems to have sprung up here.

The landscape looks very much like New Zealand or the Outer Hebrides, a stark contrast to the dry landscape of Santiago.

The trip from the airport in Punta Arena was thankfully brief, but enough to allow us to see a little of the country. The houses appear to be prefab haciendas with rickety fences. The people are fantastic, so friendly and welcoming, so genuinely happy to share their city with outsiders.

We had a little scare when the taxi driver was telling us that yesterday the wind in the city was 120km an hour, just a little windy then. I guess we are in for some interesting sailing over the coming weeks but that's what we came here for.

We managed to meet up with our fellow crew members for diner. Imagine the situation of 5 very exited, nervous, mad strangers meeting in a bar for the first time. Too much drink, laughter, sailing story swapping and chatter later we finally called it quits for the day. Tom , a doctor , is flying on to Puerto Williams tomorrow, so we will meet up with him again on Friday . Youri and Wojtek are friends, originally from Montreal but now Youri lives in Paris , they are not travelling onwards until Thursday<x-apple-data-detectors://2>, so we will meet them again tomorrow.

Posted by AndyWi1son 07:06 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

The 'airborne leg'

London city to Santiago

Day 1

Short taxi ride to the airport after a day of just sorting out last minute bits a pieces (light reading for the plane that sort of stuff) rang the folks to say cheerio whilst having a cappuccino in canary wharf all a bit surreal given the trip we are about to embark on.

Claire was working up to the wire, with just enough time for a quick shower and out the door!

Thought we were in for a problem on route though - two cars on their roofs under West India road flyover with fire and police everywhere - then we spotted the film crew - presumably a scene from Eastenders!

18:40 to Madrid

Had fun paying for extra baggage, not sure city airport ground staff have checked bags through to Punta Arenas before!

Through security in a jiffy just leaving time for a quick pint of Meantime and a ridiculously expensive glass of wine.

Bit of a delay talking off but soon out over the Channel giving Claire a good view of both coasts to get her excited for the next challenge!

Landed in Madrid and walked straight into an airport tapas bar, absolutely starving as it was now ten o'clock and not having had dinner, lucky though as they were just cashing up - cold potato omelette, cheese and smoked salmon ever tasted so god washed down with a bottle of Torres white Rioja.

Sat waiting at gate next to the most hilarious, and very loud, Chilean/Croatian group, leastways that would be my guess based on the mix of language and accent - yes you guessed it plane loaded up and they were sat in the row behind! Time for full volume on the headphones!

Good job we have plenty of time in hand in Santiago as we waited 45mins to offload a missing passenger's luggage only for the captain to realise we were 4000kg short of fuel!

Finally got away over an hour late but had best sleep on a transatlantic flight ever - headphones up loud - in my own little world for 9 or 10 hours, Claire needless to say was out for count strait away. Oh the sun's up, guess that means it's officially day 2!

Posted by AndyWi1son 16:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (2)

Only 2 more 'working get-ups'

Getting close now - leave for Chile in 5 days, just a stack of work to close out and a wedding to go to first :-)

Posted by AndyWi1son 04:11 Comments (0)

Last pre-trip Little Ship Club Supper

Sent on our way with the best wishes of the LSC

Had an enjoyable supper last night at the LSC saying goodbye to friends and members ahead of our trip.

Thanks to the Commodore for wishing us well on behalf of the club.

Posted by AndyWi1son 04:09 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged ship club little Comments (3)

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