Fly to: Santiago, Chile
Internal Transfer: Santiago - Cohaique
Visa required: Not if British
Time Zone:-3hrs GMT
Day 1, 04/11/07: - Patagonia Northern Icecap
Flight from San Paulo to Santiago, once again we had no delays and once again we slept for the duration. Attempted to watch a bit of Die Hard 4 but soon got bored and fell asleep. On arrival at the airport our bags were the first out; a sniffer dog got a whiff of some packed cereal bars & was soon nuzzling the bags; our taxi was also ready and waiting - hmm everything seemed to be running a little too smoothly!?
From the hotel we headed out for a walk, it'd been pretty much a year to the day since our Manakamana visit in Nepal and surprisingly we were once again to find ourselves heading up a cable car - bizarre. On arrival at the top things became more bizarre; whereas last time we were in a sacred Hindu place this time it was Catholic! (Cerro san Cristobal) Totally surreal, on the top of the hill overlooking Santiago was a huge white praying statue of the Virgin Mary. Nic & I were given a pack of candles (free) by a shopkeeper and lit one each in anticipation of the journey ahead.
Coming down the hill we were looking for the zoo (which we didn't actually find until it had closed); so instead we resumed our nice leisurely stroll back down to the hotel. The weather was scorching! The Hotel was a quaint little place (Hotel Orly, Santiago) and beds were comfy, mind you we were woken at about midnight by the sound of cabaret. The chap singing must have been the Spanish version of Elvis Costello, and it sounded like he was singing live at the end of our beds! You almost felt an uncontrollable urge to sit up and clap after each song!