I couldn't sleep well last night on the plane. Our flight arrived earlier than scheduled in Santiago. The weather was sunny, hot,
and smoggy. Brian's rusty Spanish and my sign language could not avoid the attention of airport workers. One of
them kindly offered to walk us and our luggage to LanChile ticket counter to check-in for our next flight to Punta Arenas.
This kind gesture ended up costing us $10 for a mandatory tip.
Another freebie to ship the bike boxes! No complaints here. However what seemed to be a non-stop flight to Punta Arenas did include
an unexpected smoke stop for the pilot in Puerto Montt before entering the beautiful lakes region. We could see pure white cinder cones of countless volcano peaks,
blue ice fields, and islands in the thousands floating in deep blue ocean. Should have taken a kayak instead of a bicycle.
By dusk, our bike boxes were strapped into the trunk of a local taxi, and we were on our way to downtown Punta Arenas, the
capital of Chile's southern most region, Region de Magallanes. Bumpy streets, exhaust fumes, colorful houses and dogs running
loose. You got to like that to like South America. Our hostel is on a small hill several blocks from the Straight of Magellan.
First things first, we reassembled the bikes. Everything seemed to be in good shape except I could not find the "footie" Brian made
for my bike. It was a small extension for the kick-stand that he fabricated out of stainless steel. It looked like a bare
foot. It even had cute little toes. Oh well.
The owner of the hostel was quite keen on recommending a local restaurant to us, but we found our way instead to an open
kitchen sandwich shop called Lomits. Brian's order: Churrassco al Plato, mine: Lomito Completo. Brian got: grilled steak with lettuce
and tomato; I got: grilled pork sandwich with a lot of fixings. My spanish of the day:
Queso: Cheese, Palta: Avocado -- chileano version, Ave: Poultry, Lomo: Pork, and finally Plato: Plate