...is always hard. Especially after goodbyes and a long flight.
Doug took us to the airport and we departed, a bit anxious and sad.
The flight was uneventful, minus some turbulence above Central America. I watched 30 min of The American and turned it off, even Takers and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World were better. Jenn watched The Social Network and Life Us We Know It (Dan makes gagging sound).
When we arrived to Santiago it took a little while to get to the passport control because Jenn, being a Canadian, had to pay an entry visa fee of 132USD. After clearing the passport control we walked into the baggage hall and where surprised to see that there is no green and red passages, everyone has to go through customs check. While you go through the custims check a recording is played loudly reciting all the things you cannot bring into the country, in Spanish of course. Clearly Chileans take that stuff seriously.
At the baggage carrousel we immediately saw our bags. The side straps on mine were tied up differently from when I left it in Toronto, but I assumed it was to make it smaller... And smaller it was, and lighter too, Jenn even made a comment about the airport people being better than me at tightening the straps. The bag felt light... I checked the front pocket and saw that everything was gone, trekking towel, medikit, tshirts... Top pocket felt empty too. I opened the lid and started opening the main compartment, while thinking "...oh shit, there is less stuff in the main compartment too, that's not a fun start to our trip...". I reached into the bag and felt some rough fabric, I don't have anything like that, looked inside - some dirty tshirts, it's not my bag! Where the f*** is my bag then?!?! Two options: either it's still coming or someone took it...
A minute later, heading to the baggage desk, I saw my pack on the carrousel. Phewwwww, a close one.
Bienvenidos a Chile!
Day before our flight we booked ourselves an apartment right on the border of Providencia neighbourhood and downtown Santiago. Best way to get there is taxi, so we grabbed one from the airport. Our driver was at least in his 70s, his skin dark and there were more wrinkles than the skin.
It's blazing heat outside, about 32C and no clouds, he is driving with windows open and 2 min later we start pealing off layers to stay "cool". After 10min highway ride we get into the city, right by the University of Santiago. The streets are crammed with cars, everyone's honking, people are rushing on the sidewalks, the buildings are dirty and covered in graffiti, the air is hot and smells like a market - reminds a bit of Athens or Tel-Aviv. After 10min in city crawl we pulled up at our building. The driver attempted pulling our packs out of the trunk, Jenn smiled while I took charge, grabbed the packs and tipped him.
Our apartment is very nice. Small kitchen, bathroom, dining area, one double bedroom with TV and one single bedroom. The single bedroom was turned immediately into luggage area and after short deliberation and a shower we headed of downstairs to the supermarket - to stock up the fridge for the next three days.
Found everything we wanted minus hummus, or any dips besides cheese dips, and soy milk... Jenn will have to do with sin lactosa for now. Back at home we cooked up an early dinner, ate and decided to take a little nap before our night stroll.
We woke up the next morning.