The long awaited day of 10 Aug arrives. Get up, and stall – as I have no ambition or intention of doing anything other than going to airport and picking up the girlfriend. Check out of my room, and store my stuff. Nice private double room should be available and ready by the time I(we) return from airport. Walk slowly towards where I think I can catch bus to airport. Stop for some food. A nice normal sandwich, I think – which turns out to be a monster with avocado & mayo oozing out of it. Then, get on a bus for the airport. As we get closer, it starts sinking in that Pen will be here within an hour or two. Get to the airport – and check out the situation. International arrivals is downstairs, with nobody selling booze nearby. The bar that I’d arranged as a backup meeting point is nowhere to be seen. Domestic terminal is a significant distance away, and I’m not sure how to get there. Figure I’d better be careful to meet Pen as she emerges from the black-box of customs/etc. So, in order to do that, I find a bar which is in the furtherest point from her arrival point possible. Have a few beers there. Then – back downstairs. Wait, and wait, and then she appears on the television. I figure out which door she’s heading towards – and get there just in time to call her name, over top of the dozens of taxi drivers which are yelling at her. Relief seemed to be the main emotion on her face. Rush her outside, through more overly keen taxi drivers – and finally find some space/peace for a little bit of a hug.
Some polite chit-chat (”How was your flight?”, etc) – and onto the bus back to town. Admire the setting of Santiago on the way – snow-covered mountains surrounding it. More polite chit-chat, but quickly falling into old familiarity. The good kind. Off bus, and a short walk to the hostel. I give a tour-guide talk on the way, and then reach hostel. Double room is indeed rather nice – but we’re soon off to find some food. Take Pen to the seafood market for another taste of hundreds of zealous touts. Lunch, then back to hostel. Rest, drinks, dinner, and nighttime. Pen seems to be rather tired, after a little 11 hour plane ride.
11 Aug – much sleeping in. Pen still tired. Sook. Lunch, and checked out a couple of bus terminals regarding buses headed south tomorrow. Also a market. My white linen shirt suddenly gained about three large rips/holes within the last week – and Pen seems to think it’s not worthy of keeping. Girlfriends are such a bore. If not a downright hindrance. Of course, travelling without a white linen shirt is out of the question. Couldn’t find anything though – and therefore the White Linen Shirt is still on top of my shopping list. Then, the metro back towards hostel – and bought some lemons for some nice healthy gin&lemon hot drinks. I deviate from my tried and proven method, however – with disastrous results. Gin&Juice is the drink of the evening instead. Then – some dinner, and another fairly early night.