Two cities that have nothing to do with each other - Valdivia and Montevideo - happen to be incredibly well connected.
I left my home this afternoon (previous report), arrived at SCL after a comfortable 1-hour flight, and now I'm making my way from domestic arrivals to international departures. My next flight leaves in less than three hours.
At the time of this flight SCL's terminal consists of a relatively small L-shaped building. The domestic flights area is at the end of the long stroke of the L, and the access to international departures is where both strokes meet.
So there's no need for buses, trains, nothing. Just a nice stroll from domestic arrivals…
…along the first (ground) floor hall…
…then the elevator to the third floor, and voilà! September 18 is our national day. That's why the message "Felices fiestas patrias" is plastered all around. Some foreigners get sort of shocked at such display of "nationalism". I was in Argentina on July 9, their national day, and nobody seemed to be in the mood for celebrations!
I enter the police check area at 18:38. The queue is quite long, but one good thing about SCL is that lots of booths are open…
…so I clear police check quickly…
…and make it to security check at 18:48. Ten minutes!
I'm airside at 18:50.
I have to follow that lady pulling the red bag through the narrow corridors of the duty free.
So Montevideo is just a stop on the way to Córdoba, Argentina?! That's crazy! It's like taking a flight from Madrid to Paris… via Moscow!! gate 10. Hm. That's at the end of the short stroke of the L. I'll have to walk a little.
But being so early, I have enough time for a little project - I'll leave a photographic register of what SCL looks like from gate 20A, usually shared with the domestic area…
…all the way to the international end of the L.
Besides, I'm getting hungry…
…and the cheapest shop at the airport is at the far end.
Felices fiestas patrias!
I will never find a soda for less than 3 USD in one of these shops…
…but at the bend of the L…
…is what I'm looking for.
No, it's not that cafeteria.
It's the vending machine! The only place with sodas at 1000 CLP! (1.5 USD)
And now my sandwich.
Oh. We're in the middle of the long stroke of the L. My sandwich is at the far left (escalators)
This end looks much more active. Most international flights leave in the evening, it seems.
My gate (10) is on the right, but my sandwich is on the left…
…down the escalators…
…on the first floor…
…at this Maxi K. :)
Hee hee hee. I knew it…
…because I was here for my last flight to Buenos Aires. Sandwiches here are half the price than anywhere else in the airport.
Great! I even have some minutes to relax and read a little. The only thing I have to do now is take the escalator back to gate 10 when the time for boarding comes, and…
AAAAAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH…..!! ALL THE FREAKING WAY BACK TO GATE 22??? And it's 20:25. Boarding time! RUN!!!!
This is where I started my "photographic project"!! >:(
Boarding is being called as I stop sweating and panting.
CC-AHD is already waiting.
So the punctuality awards from my previous report were true!
A long ramp takes us down from the third to the second floor to access…
The product is exactly the same for domestic and international routes…
…but I have the impression that legroom is a bit better in this row.
Tray table a bit dirty at this time of day.
Seatback pocket contents - the same as in this afternoon's flight.
Night has fallen long ago.
Make an estimation of the passenger load if you're good with numbers.
Pushback at 21:07. Three minutes in advance!
With a cellphone and a lousy camera…
…I won't be able to take good pictures in the dark.
Santiago is a handsome city at night, though not necessarily from the air.
We are heading south. We'll cross the Andes some 50km south of Santiago.
The Ruta 5 Sur (aka Panamerican Highway) runs (almost) all along the country.
Turning east above Paine. Not the Paine Towers, but a little town locally famous for its large watermelons. When a man has a big belly, his friends will usually ask if he is carrying a sandía de Paine with him.
Acceso Sur, another access to the south area of Santiago.
Nobody is allowed to stand up or use the restrooms while crossing the Andes - which takes about 10 or 15 minutes - but the FAs get ready for the BOB as soon as we are flying above the Argentine pampas.
I still have my vending machine soda - sin azúcar in order to compensate for the calories in the sandwich I'm ordering. :D
This kind of bread is called marraqueta. Very popular in Chile. It's also called pan batido, or pan francés in different areas of the country.
No matter the name, it always very crunchy and has this shape that lets you divide it into four pieces.
The filling is carne (meat, in this case beef), and queso (cheese) Yummy. Come with daddy. :D
I'm enjoying my sandwich. Unfortunately, my neighbors in 4B and 4C are not. They are a mature couple and they're having a bit of a quarrel with the FA about their order. In the end, they seem to realize that they were wrong, but they blame it on the menu, saying that it's misleading! Meanwhile, we are flying above a town called Lincoln. Yes, after the president! It's inhabitants are called linqueños.
120km from Buenos Aires is Chivilcoy. Are they trying to send some kind of message into space??
Few minutes later we see the lights of Buenos Aires.
I'm a little confused at first because I found the flight very short.
I wonder if we flew towards Córdoba or Rosario, which are closer to the Andes. But no.
As the Río de la Plata comes into sight, it's clear that we are above Buenos Aires.
There's the wide 9 de Julio Avenue, and the fog coming from the river. I can even see the streets where I walked around the Obelisco in my last visit. And I suddenly feel sad because Rayita is down there and I don't know when I'll see her agan. :( She was the sweetest thing I met in Buenos Aires. She must be sleeping now, as she did most of the time. She slept with me every night…
…she talked to me in her language, and she thought I was her kitten.
Across from Buenos Aires, on the opposite shore of the Río de la Plata, lies Colonia del Sacramento. Its name says it all: It's characterized by its colonial architecture. A very beautiful town. I'll be visiting it during this trip.
The lights of western Montevideo come into view.
But I picked the wrong side of the plane again. We cross the city and turn around towards the left, so I miss the center of the city… again. >:(
We descend westward…
…above the Carrasco area.
And here's MVD and its futuristic architecture.
Looks like taken from the Jetsons! :D
Adding insult to injury, the windows get fogged…
…and the lights don't help.
We've made it.
Carrasco (aka MVD)…
…is a cute small airport…
…and you'll never have to walk much.
A last sight of CC-AHD on the tarmac.
As soon as you arrive…
…you can cover almost the whole airport in a glance!
At this time of day…
…we seem to be the only ones going through migrations…
…which is fantastic…
…because in ten minutes…
…we are landside.
You might need some money for the bus or the taxi.
A last step before being left in the wild, scanning your bags. Never as tough as in Chile, though.
Another chance to channge money.
The main hall.
The exit is over there, behind the escalator, and taxis are waiting right outside. There's also a bus stop, and buses come every 30 minutes during the night. The ticket is about 60 UYU.
Thanks for reading!
Santiago - SCL
Montevideo - MVD
After flying a similar route with Aerolíneas Argentinas, I can say that Sky Airline does the job with great quality of service for a cheaper price. No snack box as in AR, but the hot sandwiches in their fair-priced BOB are much better!!
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