Chile 2003: Montreal to Temuco
Feb. 10 / Feb. 11, 2003

Michael J. Ferguson
Montréal

Les Publications INRS-Télécommunications, Montréal

Chile 2003: Main Index

Contents

1  Introduction
2  Montreal to Santiago, Sun/Mon Feb.9/10
3  Santiago to Temuco, Mon. Feb. 10

Next Section: Temuco to Puerto Montt: Lakes & Volcanoes

1  Introduction

No matter how hard I try, I seem to end up with an incredible load of stuff. This is the first time I have flown with my bike, trailer, and full camping gear, along with my normal computer stuff. Both the bike and trailer bags ended at the maximum 30kg (66lbs) and my computer stuff, batteries, and travel guides/maps added another 15kg or so in my big backpack. I won't know until I get to Temuco how much room I will have for useful stuff after I put the bike pack, trailer bag, and big backpack in the trailer ... most distressing.

2  Montreal to Santiago, Sun/Mon Feb.9/10

I left for Miami in blinding snowstorm, an hour late after a rearrangement of some containers, and deicing. However, the lateness meant that I only had to wait for 9 hours, instead of 10 for my flight to Santiago. Sunday night from Miami to Santiago must be ``go home'' night for the Chileans. Lan Chile has 3 flights to Santiago between 8:30pm and 11:00pm. My 10:00pm flight was not too full so I was able to switch my safe ``centre aisle'' seat for a window seat by myself. After flying straight south from Montreal, we hit the Pacific Ocean. At sunrise, there was a smooth complete cloud cover, that showed irritations as we turned east over the coast, and then was pierced by brown mountains. As we approached Santiago, the clouds disappeared completely to show the scrub covered mountains that reminded me of the eastern Nevada/California edge of the Sierras. The resemblance to Southern California was even stronger when the smog obscured the hills as we made our final approach. The airport has its hills at a respectfully safe distance.

Everything arrived safely in Santiago. I paid my $55us ``Reciprocity Fee'' ($100us for Americans and $15us for Mexicans), declared my spices, dried soups, tea, coffee, and chocolate bars, which were allowed without any examination, and started looking for the Domestic Terminal for my flight to Temuco. It turned out that my needing to find the Domestic terminal was just an idle threat. The domestic check in is at one end of this new?? terminal.

After dropping off my bags, I went outside to try out my new toy - a Magellan Meridian Gold GPS receiver. It does indeed, as it should, work in this part of the world and indicated that I was at 33.39726S and 70.79233W. The Worldwide Basemap shows me about 5km from highway 68. It is not very detailed, but I should be able to get into Santiago with it. The real test will come this afternoon when I use it to get into Temuco. That flight leaves in a couple of hours.

3  Santiago to Temuco, Mon. Feb. 10

As you leave, heading south down the Central Valley you finally see the spectacular setting for which Santiago is famous. Santiago is shadowed by a low ridge of brown hills that seems to be the reason for its smog. Behind this ridge, to the east, is a long range of jagged, snow-covered mountains. Interestingly, the snow-covered peaks become isolated volcanos, as you continue down the valley towards Temuco, three of which can be seen as you land. I will be riding south, on Wednesday, towards one of the most famous, Volcan Villarrica.

Next Section: Temuco to Puerto Montt: Lakes & Volcanoes


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