Sitting in Santiago | An Eventful Life

Sitting in Santiago

 

Well, in my last blog I said I would be covering not just Australian athletes and happenings in Rio but I didn’t think it would start at Sydney airport.

The normal Tuesday Qantas flight from Sydney to Santiago could have been a special charter flight for Rio-bound athletes, families, journalists and spectators. With the flight from Melbourne being slightly delayed those heading to connect to the Santiago flight were whisked through the Express Lane to International and people started chatting

One lady was a guest of the IOC, behind us was the family of one of the rowers (‘Awesome’ remarked the IOC lady without even cracking a smile) and the boarding lounge was full of yellow Australian shirts (a team of young ladies –no idea which sport), the colourful tracksuits of the team from Vanuatu and various other countries.

The Express Lane treatment seems a bit wasted when it turned out that our flight to Santiago was delayed. While the big press journalists decamped to the bar (you can always guarantee that the journalists will be first to the bar, especially with a free food/drink voucher available) the Vanuatans cheerfully played guitar until we boarded four hours later with the captain promising that the Rio connections would be made, somehow. For me it wasn’t a big problem as I am staying overnight in Santiago but most of the travellers were catching connecting flights to Rio, including the Fijian weight lifter sitting next to me. Luckily for me Manueli Tulo is a very small weight lifter – he is only 5 feet tall – but he can lift well over twice his own weight.

So I haven’t even reached Rio and I’m writing about Olympians from all over the place. I hope they all get safely (if late) to Rio and get some rest before they start doing whatever they do so well; in the meantime I’m going to grab a good dinner and night’s sleep in Santiago before rocking on to Rio tomorrow

PS Santiago is amazing to fly into – the mountains are covered in snow and although I know absolutely nothing about Chile, it looks really interesting. And the have Labrador sniffer dogs which immediately made me feel at home ....