This adventure will begin with flying to Santiago, Chile. After spending three days there, we will continue by flying further south to Punta Arenas, Chile and boarding our ship, the Midnatsol with Hurtigruten.  Setting sail from Punta Arenas, we will cruise south through the Magellan Strait and then into the Beagle Channel, visiting first the Garibaldi Fjord and then on to Puerto Williams.  Next, it’s on to Antarctica for five days of zodiac cruising and making landings on the continent.  Then we’ll reverse our course and head back north eventually ending up in Punta Arenas to fly home.

Sunday/Monday, November 20-21, 2016: Flying South—but still a Red Eye flight…

 We left Sunday afternoon to head South to Antarctica, but of course, since we are leaving from Tallahassee, we have to head North to go South.  That’s right—Atlanta!  Can you go anywhere in the universe from Tallahassee without going through Atlanta?


Our hotel in Santiago- Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center

At any rate, we flew to Atlanta and then took a red-eye from Atlanta to Santiago, Chile, to begin this adventure.  After landing in Santiago on Monday morning, we checked into our hotel and then hit the town by foot.  As usual, we find the best way to get a feel for a city is by walking the streets, eating in the local establishments and watching the locals.  We found Santiago, a city of some 7.5 million people, to be clean, safe and friendly.  If we needed some directions, there was always a local more than happy to give us some guidance – even if our communications were a bit of a struggle.

It was just past noon as we walked and realized we were getting hungry since we hadn’t had anything since that supreme “breakfast” served on the airplane.  We stopped by a small café on the street only to learn they didn’t start serving lunch until one o’clock.  Carol and I looked at our friends, Dwight and Lana, and we all immediately pulled out chairs and decided it was time for breakfast!


Carol & Phil high above the city of Santiago

Later along our way, we decided to get a bird’s eye view of the city by going to the observation deck called Sky Costanera.  It’s part of the Costanera Center, which is Chile’s largest shopping mall and South America’s tallest building.  From here you can contemplate the city from above with some great views.

All in all, we had a great day.  My Fit Bit battery went dead somewhere over 20,000 steps, but we figured it was somewhere between 25 – 30,000 steps that felt like 40,000.