Published: July 16th 2008
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The main drag outside my hotel in Antofagasta
I finally made it to Antofagasta! What a trip!

From Phoenix I flew to Dallas, the flight left PHX about 20 minutes late, and while we were taxing to the runway the teen in the row in front of me had a pannick attack, so we had to turn around and head back to the terminal. This made us and hour late into Dallas, giving me 40 minutes to cross DFW.I also was hoping my luggage was going to make it across DFW in 40 minutes. When I arrived at the gate for the flight to Santiago it was already boarding. I boarded the plane and just prayed my bags made it. I had to have faith in the universe.

The flight wasn’t bad, the food tasted ok but the portion was small so I was hungry, breakfast was the same, small croissant and yogurt. The plus about the flight was I got 3 seats in a row to my self and slept laying down flat! I awoke around 4 am and looked out into the darkness and saw the Panama Canal, and all the ships lined up waiting to go in the west entrance. That was cool. Then slept fitfully till 5:30am. Didn’t talk to John DeDecker on the flight, he was in a different part of the plane and seemed content to be by himself.

When we landed in Santiago, John and I hooked up and went through customs. Customs went well! We went to check in on the flight to Antofagasta and ran into Jut and Pete. They had missed their flight and were now desperately trying to get on ours. They made it on to our flight, however as I went through the security check point the jefe made me pull the 200’ of rope out of my carry on bag, and checked it as a weapon, almost missed the plane!

When we got to Antofagasta we rented the trucks, and came into town. We stopped at the sea arch, see picture attached, and then found the Holiday in express. We ate dinner and rested up from travel.

Today 7/16 we went out looking for a sporting goods store, and had to settle for the Jumbo, essentially a SuperWalmart. An unexpected problem to is today is a national holiday, no one knows much about it other than it is a

The 4 of us that arrived on Tuesday.
religious holiday. All I know is many of the stores we need to go to are closed. In the morning we did what shopping we could tomorrow we will finish and then do the 5 hr drive inland to San Pedro de Atacama. This afternoon I went to the beach with John and watched huge waves crash in to the rocks. 2 more team members will arrive this evening making the team six people.

It will probably be 3-4 days before I add to this blog.

My Spanish is coming along.



18th July 2008

on saints and sinners
wow, what an unusual trip, seeing chile from the inside out! just an fyi, the public holiday was in honor of the virgen del carmen, the patron saint of chile and of the armed forces, so it's kinda a big deal for most people (69% of chileans are catholic according to the last census in 2002). cheers!

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