...and boy are my arms tired. And my legs. And my brain! What is it now, Saturday morning? I have finally emerged from that limbo-region of "travel-space-time" to re-enter the real world at the bottom of Chile, in the city of Punta Arenas.
Cambridge to London, 2 hours. London to Madrid, 2 hours. Madrid to Santiago, 13 hours. Santiago to Punta, 5 hours. Long times to be cramped in seats. However, I was thankful on the overnight transatlantic leg that there were no serious sources of noise to disturb my futile attempts at sleep.
Unlike the first flight, to Madrid. Now, I've travelled on planes quite a lot, and I've had several bad experiences with seat-kickers, screamers, and the gastrointestinally-challenged, if you catch my drift. However, this particular flight had one of the worst. The kid in the seat behind me would not sit. He would yell, though. And he would pound the back of my seat whenever he wished to emphasize a particular statement. He kicked my seat rhythmically while he was thinking of said statements. And several times he would actually reach through the seats and grab me, just in case I didn't hear his >120 dB oratory. The parents did their best, I suppose, to restrain him, but nothing short of heavy chemical sedation was going to calm this kid down. And another load of kids on the plane thought it would be fun to scream in terror when we took off, or banked the plane. Most of these people were connecting to Tenerife. It's really soured me on Tenerife; don't expect to see me there in the near future. Anyway, the 13 hours of transatlantic crossing were silent bliss in comparison. Whew!
My stuff all made it here, too. Every seam was bursting in my luggage, and I managed to pawn off some of my equipment onto my fellow travellers. However, even with that, I had to carry a lot of junk in my coat, because it couldn't fit in my carry-on bags. My coat had 8 kg of stuff in it, and my carry-on had another 12 kg. My coat was reminiscent of Keanu Reeves in the Matrix where he had weapons upon weapons concealed within. Except with me, it was books, slippers, travel documents, personal electronics, and even some GPS equipment. I spent 24 hours in constant surveillance of all my pockets, to make sure nothing was left behind.
Anyway, we got in last night and after a 20 minute nap, we had a nice rooftop dinner and hit a local bar for a few drinks. Quiet place, Punta. Pictures are still forthcoming - a few if I don't find a battery charger to buy, and a lot if I do.
And now I wait for further instructions. We will know in the next two hours whether or not we can leave today for the Really Dark Continent. They made an attempt once earlier this week and aborted, so they may be "once-bitten, twice-shy" about it today. So, the next blog will either be from here again, or Rothera station.