Thursday afternoon and we were off to Philly to catch an American flight to Miami for our connection to Santiago, Chile. All looked good until boarding was stopped…to check an engine. Sound familiar? Our recent trip to Italy started similarly, and the flight was actually cancelled, making us a day late.
Fortunately the boarding began again about half an hour later and off we went making it to Miami around turbulent storms only minutes late. Spent and hour luxuriating in the Avianca Lounge using our Visa Reserve card benefit – free drinks, free eats and lovely lounge chairs to wile away the time. If you travel, ask me about this card sometime.
7 1/2 hour flight from Miami to Santiago on Latam Airlines (reviews of the airline weren’t great), but brand new wide-body had lots of room and a great audio visual system. Couple of hours sleep (Marsha had none) and 7:20 am arrival, ready to go on a city tour, hotel check in and afternoon at Leisure.
But, no Smartours rep to meet us. Really unusual. In fact, to this writing no one knows what’s become of that guide – hoping nothing really bad. Finally a guide from a different tour company was recruited to help. Fortunately he was terrific. Just 17 people in our SmarTours group makes it a little more personal, and comfortable.
Exhausted, we make ready to have a really early dinner at a recommended local Chilean restaurant. Then to bed for a 3 am wake up, yes 3 am for a 6:30 flight for Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia, and hopefully a look at the Magellanic Penguins – if the predicted rainy, windy weather lets our ferry do it’s thing.