I have landed!

February 28, 2022 • 11:00 am

It was a long haul from Chicago to Santiago, Chile, especially because the plane to Chile was delayed by over two hours, which gave me a six-hour layover in Houston. (The airport food there isn’t that great, either).

Then a nine-hour overnight flight to Santiago; I decided to stay up and watch movies, but got through only the new documentary on Anthony Bourdain (“Roadrunner,” not very good as it doesn’t hang together well, and of course couldn’t unravel the mystery of his suicide) and a re-watch of “Good Will Hunting” to see if it stood up over the years (it’s still pretty good), and then I fell asleep.

It’s warm and sunny in Santiago (78°F, 26°C), and so I  was sweating as I walked from the terminal to the nearby Holiday Inn. We’re staying here for one night, which includes another PCR covid test, before catching an early-morning flight to Punta Arenas (about 2.5 hours). And there, in that southern port town, we board the ship (the Roald Amundsen again).

The only interesting thing to report is that the Santiago Airport opened its new International Terminal today, which is huge, and we were one of the first flights to use it. Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten things working very smoothly, and despite my trying to enter as “crew”, as I was told, they entered me as a “tourist” instead. That meant that I had to go back to the terminal from the hotel and change my status back to “crew”, which took an hour of sitting and waiting on the terminal floor.

But so what? We have a lot more cold to come, and this time it comes with ice, snow, and PENGUINS. Stay tuned for adventure.

I just remember the war in Ukraine. I’d forgotten about it completely and now must check the news.

21 thoughts on “I have landed!

  1. I’m guessing long distance flights south have one good thing – not so much jet lag. Nine hours in coach after 6 hours in Houston has to be a grind.

  2. I just remember the war in Ukraine. I’d forgotten about it completely and now must check the news.

    Ukrainians hanging tough; Putin facing unrest at home, amidst a tanking Russian economy.

    That’s the short of it.

      1. Funny how they are happy to take white people, less eager for those with a browner skin… the World Service of the BBC interviewed an Afghan refugee who escaped Kabul only for war to follow her.

  3. “The airport food there isn’t that great”

    Are there any airports with great food? I’ll be happy if someone proves there are.

    1. One Flew South in the E terminal of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport is a gem of a place. Fresh fusion menu with a more than competent, albeit limited, sushi selections. The fish tacos are excellent.

      1. I’ll look for that next time! I was at the Atlanta airport last October and wanted to try Bojangles (we don’t have it on the west coast) but it closed by the time I was hungry. I had to make do with TGI Friday’s.

    2. When I used to fly through Boston Logan with some regularity, I’d always stop at Legal Seafood for a bite at the raw bar and a carry-on container of live lobster packed in seaweed and a container of frozen clam chowder to bring home to the family.

      1. I haven’t had the pleasure of flying in or out of Boston yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for Legal Seafood if opportunity knocks.

  4. Must be exciting…doubly so since this is your first adventure since the pandemic started. Have fun!

    I agree that “Roadrunner” was discombobulated, but I still enjoyed it. I didn’t really mind that his suicide wasn’t “solved” since there was no note, no warnings and he didn’t confide his feelings to anyone. I suspect it was yet another depressed, yet famous individual, who couldn’t take it anymore…what “it” is, we’ll never know. Perhaps his volatile relationships were a major factor…?

    1. I saw Roadrunner shortly after its theatrical release and found it fascinating, entertaining, and touching, if a bit unstructured and rambling. I didn’t expect there to be a satisfactory explanation for Bourdain’s suicide, since I don’t think there was any such satisfactory explanation to be had (and the film pretty much dispelled any expectations of having a tidy explanation from the jump).

      My main criticism of the film is that it allowed Bourdain’s television collaborators until their parting with him near the end — husband and wife team Chris Collins and Lydia Tenaglia — to give the project a self-serving spin.

  5. I hope it all goes smoothly from here on out and that you have a wonderful time. I’m really looking forward to reading about the adventures and seeing the photos. I’m sure your lectures will be a highlight of the trip and a big hit. It really does sound like a long, long slog, but I agree: seeing penguins makes it all worth it.

  6. Are you coming back to Chile? If staying in Santiago, contact me if you want a (free) tour guide in the city. Big fan of your work here.

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