Here's a mismash of pictures from our trip to Chile over the 1997 X-mas holidays. Wendy had flown down in early December to see Antarctica, and I met her in Santiago the day before X-mas.

I left Miami at 10:40PM on United #997 which was a 10 day old Boeing 777 making its first International flight. It takes slightly less than 8 hours - here's sunrise from the back left of the aircraft. andes1

andes2 The clouds cleared about an hour before our arrival at 9:40AM ... as typical, the photos aren't near as good as reality - the Andes mountains are much more impressive than this picture. Be sure to get a seat on the left side if you fly this route.

After an emotional reunion at the International airport, we flew another 700km South to Temuco and spent the night there. Here's the view on X-mas morning! ;-) xmas

volview We then took a bus to Pucon, which is a small tourist town in the heart of the Lake District. This is a beautiful place with nearby lakes and mountains. Unfortunately, this picture was taken on day 5 ... we got rained on the first four days. Well, this was our honeymoon, so we played lots of cards, backgammon, and other stuff! ;-)

When the weather finally cleared, we did some Class 4 whitewater rafting down a nearby river ... highly recommended. We then climbed the volcano the next day with a local tour service. It was a GREAT day (we got sunburned despite lots of SPF30) and here's a view from the top at 9,000 feet. voltop

voltops Here is the picture Wendy did not want you to see. Notice the high tech glasses supplied by the touring company. And what about that hat! ;-)

I promised Jamie and Leon that I would put there picture up on the Internet ... here it is! ;-) vol-jl

voltop2 You can then meander over to this area to the lookout point where one can peer into the volcano. Follow the footprints down to the center of the picture.

And here's a shot straight down ... the lava isn't as impressive as one would think, but it's still neat to see. The smell is overwhleming, in fact, we are wearing gas masks when this picture was shot. It was difficult to estimate distance, but I believe this is at least 1,000 feet below us. lava

rest Here's our favorite place in Pucon to eat while we waited for the weather to clear - we played lots of cards here and in one of the local hotel lobbies. We can highly recommend this place and also where we stayed; Email us for more info if you want it.

I was pleasently surprised to find a CyberBar in town. Although the keyboard was in Spanish and the latencies were a bit annoying, it was useable to send/receive Email. I would have spent a lot of peso's here, but since we were on our Honeymoon, the total amount of time was about an hour for the 6 days we were in Pucon. cyber1

cyber2 A quick self-portrait via the PC video camera and the digital camera.

We then took a bus back up to Santiago which is about 800km away. But this was actually quite comfortable on the overnight sleeper bus - check out these seats. Wendy, who had gotten upgraded to International 1st class on the flight down, said the bus seats were even more comfortable ... but the bus did not serve Beluga caviar or "DOM" champagne. bus1

bus2 These kids seated in front of us were not quite so cute when we wanted to fall asleep and they did not! ;-)

When this bus got to Santiago, we figured we would tranfer busses to take us to Vina Del Mar, which is a costal town about 150 km West of Santiago. However, Jaime Baeza happened to hear us discussing our plans, and offered to take us there, since he was headed that way anyway. It was EXTREMELY nice of him to do this. His wife met us in Vina Del Mar and they gave us a nice tour of the coastline to the North. group

lamb Here's some of the local wildlife we saw in Vina Del Mar.

And you can even order a pizza in this town ... although the delivery vehicle is a bit different than what we are used to. pizza

fa We ended up our trip and headed back to the States. We put ourselves on the standby list for upgrade to Connisseour Class (thanx to Wendy), but were bummed when they said there was no room. I was especially bummed when I saw several open seats ... but then I ran into the same flight attendant who I had talked with on the way down. Silvano Pressato, who also has 450 pilot flying hours, was nice enough to get us moved up front and we slept the rest of the flight.