On Sunday 27th July I left home in Stoke on Trent and set of on, what has now been nicknamed #MyBigFatChileAdventure. Flying from Manchester late afternoon, I knew I had a plane change at Amsterdam, which required another search and full body scan. I then boarded the flight I time to see the sunset on Amsterdam, getting some lovely views over the Netherlands and Southern England as we headed towards South America.
What I wasn’t aware of was that once in South America we would be landing in Argentina, disembarking the plane, security checks again, reboarding the plane, and then continuing to Santiago. There were some amazing views over Buenos Aires. Landing in the dark highlighted the grid like way in which Spanish cities have been formed in Latin America. Taking off again in the early morning sun showed the new developments on the periphery of the city, still formed within their own grid block, now though with a deliberate attempt to have organically formed blocks of housing within the street block.
Now on the final stretch, and about 20hrs in to my journey, jet lag kicked in and I could no longer see properly as the migraine I had was blurring my vision. Luckily this subsided long enough for me to take in the breathtaking view of the Andes and our descent in to Santiago.
After being met at the airport by the taxi I had booked, I then took the 2hr journey to my hotel. Entering Valparaiso was quite intimidating! It was much much bigger and busier than I had expected! My immediate observations were the amount of stray dogs, the amount of people using public spaces such as parks and squares even though it was not a particularly sunny day, and the mixture of grand public buildings and old temporary structure homes.
Upon arrival I unpacked and set off out for the afternoon, I will write more about that in my next blog post!