In total we needed to take five flights, some trains, a couple of buses and metros to come back home, but we managed and are safely back.
December 8th - Punta Arenas to Santiago de Chile
Our first flight was from Punta Arenas to Santiago de Chile. We had a short stopover in Puerto Montt, but did not even have to leave the plane.
In the Santiago metro we were much more careful than the previous time we'd been in the city and managed to get to our hostel without anything being stolen from us. We stayed in the same hostel, and to our surprise even in the same room as we had more than seven months ago.
December 9th - Santiago de Chile
We planned to visit Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino as we were promised that it would for sure be re-opened in December. "For sure" has a bit of a different meaning in South America, but it was not far off either: the new opening date was January 10th. Upon learning this, we just wandered around town and had lunch at the market just like the last time. We decided to take Tour4tips through Santiago Downtown, as we we'd been really happy with their walking tour in other parts of the city and in Valparaiso. It was incredibly hot (above 35° C), but the tour was a lot of fun and completely worth it! In the evening, we returned back to the airport to take an overnight flight to New York.
|Presidential palace in Santiago|
|Adios South America|
December 10th - New York
We landed an hour later than planned. To our surprise, our luggage was not transferred and we had to pick it up and go through security. That was quite straightforward. However, after security we were told that we can not deposit the luggage immediately, but rather have to bring it to an Iberia counter at a different terminal. Once there, we were told that the counter would open only in the afternoon and baggage storage is only in yet another terminal. We did not want to waste any more time and decided to take our large backpacks with us to town.
The weather in NY was in stark contrast with sunny Santiago: it was about zero degrees and snowing, with close to no visibility. We had a kind of a plan to follow, and managed it despite the weather. The first stop was at Best Buy, where we bought a new computer for Laura and a new camera for me, as our old ones were really ready for their retirement. The next stop was at REI where we managed to replace our lost sunglasses and stolen head lamp. It was Laura's first time to REI and now she understands why I would love to have something similar in Europe.
In REI, we met Charlie, a wonderful Brookliner who helped us a bit with the New York metro, so we found a fast way to JFK Airport without paying much for the Long Island Rail Road.
December 11th - Arrival
The next flight was quite long, but everything went smoothly: we changed flights in Madrid and arrived in Vienna on time and without problems. We then took an S-Bahn to Wien Meidling and from there a EuroCity train to Česká Třebová, where my parents picked us up and drove us home.
All's well that ends well. We made it home safely, but this is not our last article about South America. I still have a lot of data to process, and am planning to present the most interesting bits of it here.