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South America, Reflections

This was a trip of a life time but I don’t know if I will ever do it again as long plane rides really get to me. Some people like non-stop flights to where ever but as far as I’m concerned they could stop every hour to switch planes and it would be ok with me. I flew out of L.A. on Lan Chile Airlines and I will have to say the service was excellent. They were constantly feeding us and offering Chilean wine and both were great. We did make one pit stop in Lima, Peru to gas up and they said we could get off the plane for awhile if we so choosed, I was the first one at the door. The flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas wasn’t bad as we were flying over the Andes and the view of the mountains and glaciers was something else. At one point I walked to the front of the plane and the cockpit door was open and there was this little Chilean boy sitting on the pilot’s lap and playing with the controls. Too bad things can’t be the same now.

I remember the time we were driving along the coast of the Straits of Magellan and Barry who was sitting in the back said there’s a whale. The rest of us just kind of humored him but looked in that direction anyway. In just a few seconds here comes this huge tail out of the water. I don’t know what kind of a whale it was but it was big. Somebody made a comment that we didn’t bring along a big enough fly rod.

Seeing all the wildlife on Tierra Del Fuego and Patagonia is worth the trip in itself. Guanacos, Nandus, Eagles are all over the place. A guanaco looks just like a lama but is a wild animal and elusive, just like an elk in Montana and are protected in both Chile and Argentina. The gauchos we met in that little joint where we spent the night indicated they had just poached one and were going to BBQ it and invited us along to try it, We politely declined as we did not want another run in with the law. (Things don’t change from one hemisphere to the other). A nandu is a relative of the ostrich and can run just as fast. When we were camped along the Rio Grande River in Tierra Del Fuego we had a couple Antartic Fox near at all times checking for any scraps, they didn’t get much. We drove along this shallow lake and it was literally covered with Flamingos but we couldn’t resist throwing a rock out into it just to see them all flying.

I have a video of a lot of this trip and from time to time I have to play it just to reflect on the good times we had.


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