It’s a long way from London to Santiago…the journey took the better part of two days, four different time zones (GMT, CST, Peruvian time and Chilean time), three continents (Europe, North America and South America) and four countries (Gr. Britain, USA, Peru and Chile). I made it, my racquet bag didn’t (TSA held it for and as a result it missed the flight to Peru yesterday…I think it’s en route now to Peru, or really hope it is!).
I arrived in Santiago around noon today (Santiago is two hours ahead of Eastern time and five hours ahead of Pacific time so it’s 9:30 here and 4:30 pm in California.We flew over a lot of dry desert and then some agricultural areas. The climate seems similar to San Diego, at least the plants do, lots of oleanders, liquid amber and jacaranda trees, bougainvillea, etc. The jacarandas are in bloom and are so pretty with their purple flowers. I discovered tonight that didn’t do my homework correctly regarding plug adapters…and didn’t think I needed one for some reason…fail. I spent a good hour today at the airport looking for the right person to ask about my bag, since United doesn’t fly to Chile. I am just hoping the bag doesn’t sit in Peru tomorrow. In London one cannot carry racquets on in the passenger part of the plane, or I’d not have checked them.
I checked into my apartment hotel, which was a little complicated since the hotel clerk spoke no English. I finally did get to my room, which is fine and eventually figured out how to work things.I’m on the 21st floor and the view is pretty nice, I can see mountains in the distance but it’s quite urban up close. I then walked to the club Estacio Espanol, which is really nice and reminds me a lot of the Polo Club in Barcelona, though it’s smaller. But like the Polo Club there are park-like grounds, soccer fields a restaurant and huge pool, and many red clay courts. I checked in and everyone is super friendly and nice. I play Wednesday and hopefully will have racquets by then.
I found my way back eventually to the hotel, which is quite close really if you don’t walk in circles! (I walked in circles.)
Tomorrow I’m going to hit with Paul Smith, and we are going to play mixed here this week, the women’s doubles doesn’t seem to be a go, few Chilean women play tournaments.
The Chilean peso is about 585 to the dollar, so the bills here have lots of zeros…1000 pesos is about $8.50.