Happy Birthday to me!!! 60 I can't believe it. A lie in this morning and a leisurely breakfast.
Hotel Manaquehue is average. Targeted to the business traveller but okay as it is close to the airport. At breakfast I get a lovely video message from the kids wishing me a Happy Birthday. Very special!!!
We catch the airport shuttle to the airport at 12noon (checkout time) for only US$5ea and arrive in plenty of time for our 3.10 flight to Lima. We are told gate 14 but on checking the board, the flight is delayed till 4.20. The gate for departure is changed a further 3 times so we get to know Santiago airport well!
Finally we leave dead on time at 4.20. Sky airlines is a budget carrier so definitely no frills. We buy some chips and coke and share those. The flight goes fairly quickly even though there are no screens.
On arrival, immigration is really quick. No queues or waiting. We have booked a transfer as we do not want to be hassled as it is my birthday and we want to get out for dinner. We exit the airport and look for our name on a sign and there are 50 signs with people's names, but not ours. We stand there for 5 or so minutes before a guy comes up holding a sign with our name.
The ride to the Hotel is long - just over an hour and a half. The traffic is chaotic and they drive like maniacs. However, we make it. We drive along the coast for a while. The Hotel books us in and send us to a room that hasn't been cleaned. We go back downstairs and then they send us to a room on the major highway, the road noise is really bad. Finally, they give us a nice quiet room, its just right!
Phil has booked dinner at a seafood restaurant 6 minutes walk away. Restaurant Barra Maretazo which has rave reviews on the internet. The staff are really friendly and the decor is lovely and it's full of people, so we can't go wrong. We order scallops with white wine and cheese, done in their shells, panko crumbed prawns and a rice with seafood. Of course a couple of glasses of wine (from Argentina) A$5 a glass. The waiter also brought over the best pisco sour I have ever tasted as a birthday treat, on the house. A lovely night and hopefully every plane we catch on this holiday from now on is going to run on time!