Two nights in Santiago, Chile revived us from our 20 hour trans-Atlantic journey, until we had a very early morning departure (4:00 a.m.) for our flight to Punta Arenas. The flight was yet another 4 hours, but all went smoothly until we started to land when we were buffeted by very strong winds, which is quite normal for the southern oceans. As we walked across the tarmac, one old lady was trying to re-arrange her wig ! The wind was too strong for the plane to unload the baggage from both sides, and it had to turn around to unload the second side ! It took 2 hours before we could join the bus for a 3 hour sightseeing trip of Punta Arenas, a town of only 100,000 with nothing to see - just to kill time as the ship was not ready to receive us until late afternoon.
Once we were settled on board the Midnatsol, we were supplied with wonderful wind and water proof jackets - bright red with gaudy yellow hoods. We dubbed outselves "yellow headed penguins", and there was no question of failing to spot this new breed during the subsequent landings and boat trips ! There was a mandatory safety drill, followed by a welcome from the captain with a glass of sparkling wine.
We set sail that evening through the Magellan Straits.
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