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Written by Paula   
Monday, 26 February 2007 19:50

The rythm of my days began to take on a pleasant pattern of review, shop, pack then review again.  Such is the dance I perform as I approach a vacation departure date.  My working hours have a similar pattern, review, work, document and review.  Magically all is completed on the day before my departure.  The last bits of three small bags are tucked away and one last review of where those nasty swiss army knifes and bottles of shampoo are.  Have to make sure they are in the check-in bags.

All that's left is getting up at 4:30 AM for the limo that will take me to the airport.  


Ya, I took a limo.  $10 more then a taxi but much more reliable.  And reliability for my flight out was more important then the extra $10.

This was to be a six leg trip.  Non stop travel.  My plan was to have my brain fried before I got to Futaleufu leaving me in a state of blankness.  Blankness to be filled with a totally different environment.

So off I went.  The ticket counter checked my baggage through to Puerto Montt with advice that I would need to pick my baggage up at Santiago for customs.  This was good.  At least three legs would be just me and my backpack.

Boots off, belt off, jacket off.  Piled into a little plastic container and pushed, with my backpack, through the X-ray machine.  

'Ma'm, you will have to take your other jacket off for security' a smiling home land security agent asked me.

'Well, I'll do that if you don't mind me parading through here with just a bra on!'

'Okay, okay, pass through'  did I detect that he turned just a little bit red?

I have often fantasized that I would go on a trip, wearing only a bikini, flipflops and an over coat.  As I went through security, I would calmly take off my overcoat and flipflops, neatly place them in one of their gray plastic containers wait for the agent's signal for me to pass through the metal detector, then, just as calmly pick up my over coat and flip flops leaving security.

Seattle security.  One of five, count them, five security checks (on my six leg trip).

Seattle to SF.  Leave domestic security, enter International security.

SF to Mexico City.  Go through Mexican immigration, out of security, check in at LAN, back through security (after a quick bite and a beer).

Mexico City to Santiago.  an eight hour red eye.  Great plane though.  My own TV set.  At Santiago, immigration, pick up luggage, through customs, out of security and up to LAN baggage check for a 45 minute line just to throw bags on a conveyer (dah).

Back through security (didn't have to take my shoes off!) and the Santiago to Puerto Montt flight.  Out of security and, holy smoke, my bags really did show up!

A taxi ride compliments of exChile, to a small private airport strip and on a a single prop plane from Puerto Montt to Chaiten.

Finally ground transportation (i.e. a truck) across four hours of dirt roads up and into the Andes. 

Hmmm, brain check.  Yup, totally blank.


Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2007 18:22