After only one month back in Australia for university, I was off again. This time heading to Chile for the Dakine team winter shoot.
I had been told bare minimum about the trip. All knew was that on arrival I was supposed to meet the team at Santiago airport. I made it through security, found my bags and then realised there was no one waiting for me at the other side. I had no friends, no phone service and apparently no connecting flight! A suspicious looking character approached me and, showing me his ‘official’ name tag and purporting that he was there to help. I knew he just wanted a tip, but I had no other option. He guided me to the secret wi-fi area where I was able to Skype the Dakine team manager to check in. Turns out that he was still in Oregon! I had arrived in Santiago one day early, due to a travel agent misunderstanding the concept of the international date line.
I quickly found the silver lining! One less day at uni, one more day in Chile. I could have stayed in an airport hotel, but I remembered that my mum had given me the contact of her Chilean friend, in case any crisis were to take place. I figured this was a good enough crisis, and used my suspicious acquaintance’s phone to dial a friend.
Before I knew it I was sitting at Paulina’s dining room table, sharing a relaxed Saturday lunch with her children and friends.
I had the whole next day to explore, but rather than venturing into the city I opted to explore the nature reserves surrounding Paulina’s house. After a quick fifteen minute walk I was traipsing along a hill side track. To one side of me I had a view of Santiago, made hazy by the thin layer of smog that plagues the city. To the other I could stare up to the snow capped mountains which mark the beginnings of the Andes ranges.
A quick hike and a good dose of fresh air were the perfect cure for my jet lag. That evening I made my way to the airport, looking forward to the meter of fresh snow which was being forecast in the mountains.