The LATAM 787-9 aircraft turned out to be bigger than the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) airport terminal.

The day started badly with oversleeping. A lack of priority queuing at bag drop irritated me as a business class passenger. We skipped the lounge option and headed straight to the plane.

Comfortable long haul business class seats that I just couldn’t get comfortable in for the duration of the six hour flight. Every angle offered up by the controls felt wrong on my bones. Chris was far happier.

We’ve now travelled business class on American, BA, Iberia and LATAM. The latter was fine, but sockets for charging and access to in flight entertainment felt awkward. I’d put it fourth out of four. Although breakfast was excellent as were proper cups of tea! Another vanity pack received!

Chris sat to my left as usual. My deaf Bell’s palsy right ear just can’t hear him when there’s any background noise. He enjoyed the Pacific Ocean views and a movie while I took in Skyfall and The Last Crusade. I’ve struggled to enjoy Daniel Craig’s Bond, but this time I got the actor and the character – perhaps this uninterrupted viewing made him better.

Eventually land appeared below us. The plane passing the north end of the island allowing us great views of the old crater, the tiny town and a ship out to sea. No sign of strange rock men from this height though. A few minutes passed and the plane turned back to make an easy landing. Taxiing back along the runway to drop us outside the smallest ever airport terminal.

Bags seemingly took an age to appear but our hotel had sent somebody to collect us and as soon as we exited the tiny terminal my name sign was spotted held out aloft and our lift to hotel sorted. The nice chap even put a flower necklace around each of our necks! I avoided an Aloha.

The car park, little bigger than a doctor’s surgery, gave way to road and our driver offered us a brief tour of the capital. A burger joint. Two dancing clubs (not that sort). An ATM. A LATAM travel shop. Hideously expensive supermarket (no fresh meat, except sausages), a fruit and veg shop and … that’s about it! Oh, free wifi in the park!

We hired a 4×4 car from our small hotel. I set to work washing clothing for re-use – one way of keeping my suitcase weight down. Hopefully it will dry within three days! An initial drive around the small once volcanic rock we’d arrived on and a few purchases for Chris to knock together some food for an evening meal in later.

Life is good. Another new time zone. What time do I have to take my cancer drug now? The hotel man says wifi should come to life in a few hours. Oh!

Flight Five: Calama to Santiago

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