For any one who is interested in reading, and for those planning a trip to South America read on.
First of all book flights greater than 6 months in advance to avoid 28.5 hours worth of flying.
Our first port of call was Auckland, nice airport. Gift shops are the same as Australia. Just replace boxed macadamias in chocolate with kiwi fruit in Chocolate and koala soft toys with kiwi bird soft toys. Next stop was in LA. Nice enough airport, plenty of windows for viewing planes. Bit of a scam at Burger King, tax is not included with the displayed price of “meals”. Fries were better though. As we were sitting in the terminal, the snowball express pulled up at the gate. (chartered plane to carry wives and children of fallen solders to Denver for a skiing holiday). Our plane to Dallas was delayed as the Captain had fallen ill. There fore there was a delay of over an hour waiting for a replacement Captain. The plane arrived in Dallas 20 min after our plane to Santiago should of left. Lucky for us the plane waited as there were a few people connecting with the flight. The 5 min I spent in Dallas was good, nice new terminal. The American Airlines plane to Santiago did not have personal in flight entertainment which did not bother us as it was a midnight flight so we had a chance to sleep however you would hate to travel the route during the day. We arrived in Santiago at 10am, paid our reciprocity fee and was on our way. Santiago is quite a smoggy city, supposed to be a 5,000m mountain range in the back ground but with this smog there is no sign of the Andes. first impression of Santiago is that there are a lot of Dogs. A lot of strays and a lot of people walking dogs. The weather here is lovely, not too hot. Very few people speak English so our phrase book is an essential although we can only have one way conversations. I speak to them in Spanish but I will not understand any response. The first hostel is charming, its and old colonial building with all the amenities. The floors are very creaky and the blanket is unbearable. too cold with out it, too hot with it. Went for a walk yesterday just to get over jet lag, 5 million people in the city and I think they were all at the markets. great place if you want to buy clothes and shoes. Since we were tired it was prob not a good idea to buy a litre of Heineken for lunch. For Dinner we had Mexican, it seems that Chile does not a have many national dishes, most places well hotdogs, pizzas, Mexican food and other dishes. After dinner Andrea insisted that she find us the way back to the hostel as earlier in the day I had questioned her navigational skills. I have to say she did well. This morning we had corn flakes which taste exactly the same. we are now off to the next hostel in the city and to do some more sight seeing. Adios