I have, at last, arrived in Santiago de Chile.
It feels like its taken two weeks, ever since I flew out of Melbourne (and I haven’t stopped flying since).
I flew with Aerolineas Argentinas, which was a new experience for me. I’ve gotten so accustomed to the Melbourne/Dubai route that my expectations of airlines are shaped by Emirates and Qantas, and I’ve now realised how spoiled I’ve been.
The Rome to Buenos Aires flight was 14 and a half hours. Right before the flight I became paranoid that there wasn’t going to be any inflight entertainment at all, so at least I had lowered my expectations. Each seat did at least have its own screen, but the system was basically ten TV channels playing different movies. No choice or pause buttons, just the movies playing on repeat. Better than nothing, but I missed Emirates a lot.
The food also left something to be desired. There may have been more choice at the beginning, but I was seated at the back of the plane and received a dish of four different servings of carbs, bizarrely with nothing else. Literally pesto pasta, a bread roll, a pastry with little filling, and some strange potato dish. I have nothing against carbs in general, but they’re a difficult beginning to a long haul flight.
But what is important is that the flight arrived safely and we made it to Buenos Aires. I wish I had time to stop and explore right now, but I am prioritising a weekend trip to Argentina asap.
The flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago was only two hours and I finally got my window seat. Flying into Chile provides an amazing view of the Andes and I spent most of the flight staring out the window in awe.
I wasn’t sure what the best way to get from the airport to the hostel would be, and figured that no idea about the city + huge suitcase + sleep deprivation meant that a taxi would be the best idea for now. But when I went to organise the taxi at the airport, the guy suggested I use one of their shared taxis to save money. This basically means that you still get driven to your location, but you’re in a shuttle with other people and it takes them to their locations too. It takes longer of course, but I wasn’t in a rush.
As well as being a cheaper option, this was also a cool way to see the city because I got to check out a few different neighbourhoods. I’ve never been to South America before, so getting a look at the streets was a cool experience, if a little nerve wracking. The first place we went was on the outskirts of the city and I got a little nervous. This is definitely outside my comfort zone, and I was relieved when my hostel was in the centre and looked a lot more like the cities I’m familiar with.
And now, I am in Chile. I have left my suitcase at the hostel but I can’t check in for a few more hours, so I have been wandering around the city in search of an ATM (which is a good way to get your bearings, if not to actually find a god damn cash machine) and now I have settled in Starbucks to chill out.
To be honest, I just want to shower. And sleep. I may have grown up on them, but I still hate long haul flights.
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