Central Aust '09
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[Flights from Adelaide to Lima]
It's Saturday, 14:17 local time and we're sitting here in the airport of Santigo, Chile. Being 14:17 here, it's 04:48 Sunday morning back home. This means that we left our house 22 hours ago and have been on the move since then!
First we checked into Adelaide airport, nothing really to report about that. Two hours later we were in Sydney airport. We grabbed our boarding passes for Sydney-Auckland-Santiago-Lima, and went through to the terminal. Unfortunately customs made us get rid of 2 full bottles of water from our bags, so we had to buy two more within the airport.
On flight from Adelaide-Sydney we had a breakfast meal, which was pretty big as far as breakfasts go. There was cereal, fruit and a scone. Then Sydney-Auckland was a 'snack' consisting of a ham & cheese roll (vegetables (tomato and asparagus) for Briony), plus some fruit.
On the Auckland-Santiago it was a little weird as we had dinner and breakfast. Of course almost immediately leaving Auckland we crossed the International Date Line, meaning it was about midnight, hence having dinner made some sense. I had beef with rice plus some fruit and cake, Briony had cooked potato and vegetables (tomato and asparagus) plus a yoghurt for dessert.
After dinner and some reading, they turned the lights down and we took the opportunity for a snooze. It's hard to sleep properly on the plane, but the chance for a snooze was great. Half way through one of passengers started snoring in a really weird way, they were making a noise similar to clearing the throat. Everyone around was laughing. We were awoken halfway through the night by a kafuffel. A passenger had collapsed behind us and the pilot made an announcement to ask if there was a doctor or nurse onboard. I told Briony off for "rubber-necking" and we both went back to sleep
Breakfast was served at about 10:30am. I had a ham and cheese sandwich (missed out on the omlette - bugger!) and Briony had pancake type thing with mushroom paste, I suppose it was more of a crepe or something. It was accompanied by you guessed it....tomato and asparagus. We also had yoghurt and some fruit, plus orange juice and coffee.
So here we are, sitting in the airport. Briony has just removed her shoes and is snoozing on the seat. I found some free wireless (well, it's called Telefonica, its open and it works, so I guess it's free!!) and my new Asus EeePC connected to it without a hassle.
In a short while, I reckon we'll go get a coffee. More later!
Okay, we're back :)
I have just been for two walks around Santiago Airport. The first was to find a water fountain so I could refill our bottles. Unfortunately there is not a single water fountain in the whole place. So I grabbed some water which cost 5900 Chilean Pesos for 2 x 1.5 Litre bottles. That works out to about 16 Australian Dollars ... not too bad I suppose, but a little more expensive than the same thing purchased back in Adelaide.
The second walk was to a small cafe called Sebastiano's or something. I grabbed 2 'Naturista' sandwiches and 2 hot chocolates. Cost was 3200 CLP each for the sandwiches and 1400 CLP each for the hot chocolates. About 22 Australian Dollars all up.
I'm happy to say that the sandwiches were pretty good. But, unfortunatey it was the worst hot chocolate I had ever tasted. Briony agreed. Both hot cholocates ended up being tipped down the sink.
Anyway about 2 hours later we were on the plane to Lima, but only just! We had been waiting at Gate 21 for about 40 minutes, well ahead of schedule. While the plane was boarding, we heard our names over the loudspeaker. Santiago airport has the announcements in Spanish only, so although we heard our names we had no idea what it was about. We hurried to the LAN Air desk, they had no idea what it was about. So we ran back to the gate and got on the plane. I sent Briony to go get the seats, and I asked the attendant if there was any problem. She told me to go sit down and she would come see me if necessary. I got half way to the seat, and I saw Briony standing in the aisle. Turns out there was already someone in our seats! After some confusion and worry about not having a seat (and after Briony mashed someones foot with her hiking boot while standing around in the aisles), they eventually sat us down and everything was okay.
It turned out that the two girls sitting in 'our' seats were Australian, both from Cairns. I think Andrea and Kelly were their names, and they had actually arrived to Santiago the day before, but their luggage was not on the plane! It was good to chat to them both, both about our plans plus a bit about the Spanish language.
Anyway, the flight was fine. Dinner was chicken with rice, and the usual tomato + asparagus for Briony. Also, our flight attendant has been nicknamed 'flash' because he was in such a hurry. The first time was with Briony's cup of tea ... he gave us the tea without asking if we wanted milk, and as I was about to ask for milk - FLASH and he was gone. Then later, Andrea and Kelly asked for wine and were told there would be more after dinner. When the attendant came down the aisle, I wanted some wine too. He filled up the girls' glasses, but before I could even speak a word - FLASH and he was gone. Anyway, we watched some TV and started feeling quite tired at the end.
When we arrived in Lima, there were no problems and no major delays getting through immigration and customs. At the customs line, they checked the passport and then asked us to press a green button. When we did that, a green light came on and they waved us through and right past the x-ray machines. To this day, I have no idea what the green button was all about.
More about Lima in the next chapter ...
Next: Lima, Peru
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