So what could possibly go wrong on the last day?
We all woke up in good time for the various flights home. Around 10 a.m. Ian and Cliff were the first to depart in Big Red that had managed to follow our Chevy everywhere, although at a much slower pace. I never asked them to check if the handbrake had been left on. Final instructions were given on how to avoid becoming the ‘Permanently Lost Boys’ in Chile and yet get to the airport on time. See you at the end of November, Cliff, for our Patagonia adventure.
As I was staying behind for the next Copiapoathon adventure that will start on 3 November, I sorted out the washing to be done before the next trip and Carmen, the Peruvian domestic help, had it all washed, dried and folded by the time that the next heavy shower helped to clean the car a bit more while we were enjoying lunch. I started tidying up my notes, finishing incomplete Diary reports and pestering Juan with questions of what we had seen where, particularly on the subject of Thelocephala.
Just before lunch, David realised that he had left his camera underneath the seat in Big Red. A quick phone call to Andres and his contacts at the car rental firm that had provided the car confirmed that the camera was still in the car. A courier would take it to the Airport where he would page Mr Ian Woolnough (the name on the rental papers for Big Red) and reunite the camera and its forgetful owner. That will teach you to make jokes about the elderly, David!
And so the time had come to take Angie and David to the Airport. During the night the Andes to the east of Santiago had enjoyed a good sprinkling of snow, making for a very scenic airport run. Angie was cursing the telegraph post, traffic signs and trees along the road that were getting in the way of her last Chilean pictures this time round.
David, it was a pleasure to have travelled with you, we must do it again sometime, somewhere. And to Angie: Safe journey home! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! See you on January 8, 2011.
Back at Lonquen, I managed to clear up the Diary Report back log and publish them all to the Blog so that my fellow travellers have something to do when they get back home. Looking at what we have seen during the last three weeks in terms of plants and geography is amazing – I must check how many km we drove!