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Leaving Santiago
Leaving Santiago

We had lots of time to kill before our 18:45 flight so we had a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast then went for a short walk, returning to prepare sandwiches to eat at the airport, pack and get the hotel taxi to the airport. We could have flown here from Puerto Varas this morning rather than yesterday but any problems would have entailed an expensive re-booking and would also have made the arduous journey harder. We had a drink, ate our sandwiches, sorted out what we needed on the flight and got our hold luggage security wrapped in cling film as some of the seams of our flight bag were failing.

Remembering the official’s instruction to take our bike entry document to door 4 of the Customs office so it could be cancelled, I looked after the bikes while Christine went downstairs to take care of the bureaucracy. We were concerned that the airline check in staff would insist on seeing the form but the officials in the Customs office were surprised and mildly amused that she’d bothered to bring it back. All very strange and we wondered what had been the point of it.

The check in opened three and a half hours before take off time and we were surprised how many were queuing this early. We like to queue early in case there’s any bike bother, this time the check in staff were even more fussy about tyre pressure than they’d been at Puerto Montt and insisted that we fully deflated them, first time we’ve experienced that.

After passing through security we bided our time with another drink, this time I tried pisco sour because Christine was intrigued about it… and she wanted only a sip! It was pleasant enough but I’d have preferred a beer. At last it was time to board. We both watched an excellent Argentinian film, El Ciudadano Ilustre then tried a few others but were too tired to get into them, after which we tried and failed to sleep.

At Heathrow we re-assembled our bikes and dumped our flight bags, we’ll need to replace them before our next overseas adventure. Then the train to Paddington and the ride through the London streets to Euston, it’s supposedly a more bike friendly city now but navigation is still hard for the visitor. We booked on the first available train to Bangor and rode home in the dark, glad to have a bed to sleep in.