As we were flying to Santiago today we had to get up early again. Bus was scheduled for 6, alarm went on at 5:15, with the time shift it felt even for me like in the middle of the night. We were driven to calama, one hour from San pedro, the next airport. Arrived around 7, airport was a construction site, had to carry our luggage 5 minutes to the entrance, did check in, it was fu** cold. Thought that if we pass security it would be heated inside, wrong guess, it was as cold inside as it was outside … Had to wait till 8:45 for boarding, everybody was happy to get out of the cold and into the plane.
Flight lasted for 2 hours, arrived in hot Santiago around 11:15. As here the ways of the group splitted (only the German couple and I are going to easter island, the rest was scheduled for a city tour and flying back to Europe in the evening) we said goodbye to each other. I must admit that against my fears how it would be together with a group of people for such a long time (I travelled alone most of the time the last years) it was really nice with those people!
On the airport I followed the lonely planet advice and went to the desk for the flat rated taxis. Taxi was 20.000 (nearly 30 euro, hotel advised me not to pay more than 23.000 so it was OK).
So before I forget it: it is the first time since 3 weeks that I am on sea level. I notice it especially when I smoke, had very light cigarettes the last days (kent silver) and were still coughing a lot, here I bought Marlboro light, it is like breathing air. Let’s see how long the altitude training lasts….
Arrived at the hotel (that I did not book but was exchanged by the travel agency against my will) at 12:15, there they told me check in time is 3pm (travel agency told me 2pm) and no rooms are available sooner. Left at least my luggage there and wandered around the main street of the district (providencia). Not so much to tell, could be a city even in Europe, lots of shops, cafes, skyscrapers, new cars, fancy people.
Had lunch at burger king, as always they do not understand a single word English (but talked to me in Spanish the whole time also they understood that I can not follow a single word). Went back to the hotel around 2:30, at least the concierge saw that I was now completely sweated (it was around 30 degrees, I was still wearing my hoodie from the morning) and gave me a room. Went up, took a shower and had a short nap till 5. Complained that the WiFi is not working, they told me they will reset it. Went out for a beer and a burger in a local restaurant, came back at 7:30, still no WiFi (also they told me they resented it). Took the concierge with me to the backyard (where the same WiFi connection as in my room was available and where it was allowed to smoke) and showed him that it is not working. Now he asked again and found out that the router is in my hotel room (so they didn’t reset it….) Went up with me, did the reset and it was working. Went to bed around 10, trying to get some sleep before the next days flight.