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Punta Arenas
Knowles Antarctica Trip

(Pamela Knowles)
Santiago to Punta Arenas

Had a 10:10 flight to Punta Arenas, the taxi driver was very happy with the non traffic.  We got to the gate and noticed people lining up and thought that it was way too early but we got in line anyways.  Turned out to be a flight to northern Chile so the gate keeper wouldn’t let us board, so we went back to our seats in the waiting area to wait.  Thank goodness Chris was playing attention as they moved the gate and we only boarded 10 minutes before takeoff.  Nice quiet flight to Punta Arena, Chris, Kevin and Pam had the ocean side of Chile near the Pacific and Glen had a view of the Andes.  We were surprised to see so much snow so close to the Ocean.  Glen got to see a volcanic mountain that was venting steam.  We disembarked at Punta Arenas, collected out bags, and went to find our hotel ride.  We missed him, but he finally found us.  Took a large bus, with a luggage trailer attached to it, to the Don Rey Hotel.  Upon arrival we were told to try on boots so we could have them on the cruise.  Kevin had a size 46 (13), Glen and Chris 43, and Pam 42.  We then had a few minutes before the orientation meeting where Adventure Life representatives review facts about the cruise and how to get in and out of the zodiacs.  We then had a “Welcome Dinner” at another hotel.  The hotel was built by a widow of a fisherman, she must have missed England as the house was Victorian mansion with a conservatory attached to it.  They had us have mixer before the sit down dinner.  The sit down dinner started with crab and cerviche.  Then we had some sort of beef and rhubarb cake for dessert. They announced that we would have a 5:30 wake-up, 6:00 breakfast, 7:00 leave for airport and 9:00 window to fly out of Punta Arenas – there was a possibility that we couldn’t fly due to weather at King George Island.  Home to pack our suitcase – we need to lose some weight and were happy Pam brought the large bag without wheels that Glen used to travel to Europe with.  We managed to get all our bags under 20 kg (Chris didn’t have to worry as his 2 bags were under 20 kgs).  They had delivered out boots while at dinner.  We opted to wear our “Wellies” on the plane and use the waterproof bag that the boots came in as our carry on bag.  

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