Farewell Sting

Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Flag of Chile  , Santiago,
Sunday, May 11, 2008

Waking up is surprisingly easy, and I've slept well too.  Autumn is creeping up on Santiago and the hostel is visibly emptier than even two weeks ago.  But less people means less noise and less disturbance.  I notice in the morning light that the 8 bed dorm has two spare beds, the first time I've not seen full occupancy in all my time here.

I shower, grab my stuff,  and scurry downstairs to wait for the shuttle.  I'm the only passenger and progress to the airport is swift. Being Sunday morning the traffic is light.  I learn on arrival that I'm being charged $10.000 pesos for the pleasure instead of the 3.000 last time around.  Of course. It's a collective service and I've no-one to shoulder the burden of the fare with me.  Oh well, should have bought  a return from the airport last night. You live and learn.

Once inside I'm checked in quickly, I already had my boarding card for Madrid as this was issued in Arica.  I spend my last Chilean notes on water and Skittles and await departure.  The Iberia A320 is on time but I'm disappointed to learn that it has shared video screens.  It's potentially going to be a long flight.

Anyhow the film offerings consist of one with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman playing two terminally ill old men and another Spanish effort about an athelete who ultimately gets a liver transplant from his girlfriend.  Cheery stuff.  Later there's an arts magazine presented by Francine Stock and Andy Kershaw, covering Italian modern art and a jazz festival in Romania.  This is shown an incredible three times (one less than the number of trips I make to the rear of the plane for a whiskey and coke). Aisle seats are not so bad after all!
My centre aisle seat which turns out to be more of a bonus as I end up chatting to another Brit who is adjacent to me across the aisle.   It transpires than Len is returning from the Falklands where he captains one of the fishery patrol vessels.  And he knows Jo, my Stanley based tour representative!  He's great because at one point the old boy corrects my watch.  I'd put it foward four hours for Madrid and Len pointed out that I should have wound it on six!  Two remaining hours of the inexplicably long flight just vanish.  It's a small world, and 13 hours later I'd traversed it again.  
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