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On the Quest to see pingüinos

VPS

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OK here goes but just remember it will take a few days before I get to Antarctica

QF736 ADL SYD

I decided that I didn’t want to get up too early to catch the connecting flight in Sydney and miss out on valuable F lounge time so decided to come in the night before and stay at Rydges.

In the ADL QP one of the staff was wheeling around a trolley asking if we wanted a cocktail. It was Brooklyn Bel Air Sour Ale with diet coke and mint. I decided to try it which was probably a mistake. Later I asked her if she was sure it was diet coke and she said it might have been ginger ale because she just pressed the post mix and didn’t have her glasses on. All I could taste was the beer and it wasn’t pleasant.

Incoming flight was late, so a bit late boarding and priority boarding went well but not sure if they checked if everyone was meant to be there. Offered still or sparking water PTD. I was in 1A (with the man next to me reading a book entitled Jesus so we didn’t chat at all) but the couple opposite me were obviously well known because she got champagne as soon as the seat belt sign went off and the rest had to wait a while for our drinks. They were talking very loudly and I honestly didn’t care about where they had been on their holidays or what had happened at their dinner parties.

12.35 departure scheduled but left around 13.00

Qantas wifi was good and didn’t have to put in name or seat number in this time which has obviously changed. 12.35 dep but late around 13.00

Dukkha crusted Pumpkin and Freekeh salad. One piece of pumpkin so tough I couldn’t eat it. Shaw and Smith SB or Swings and Roundabouts Cab Sav.

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A bit misty coming into Sydney
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VPS

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Sydney arrival

Walked out of gate and ran into an old work colleague who was waiting to come back to Adelaide

Travel mistake 1 – got to the Sydney airport and realised I didn’t have my Opal card with my senior’s discount and I had forgotten because i wasn't travelling until the following day I had to pay. $6.70 for one stop.

Anyway, got to the Rydges and room was fine although the arrangement of the toilet, handbasin and shower was a bit odd. One of my pet hates is the bottom sheet top sheet some cheap polyester quilt and then another sheet. I can never get a room cool enough to put up with that and didn’t sleep very well. It certainly wouldn’t be my choice for a holiday, but it served the purpose and I do love being able to walk over to the international terminal. Interesting I tried to put another card in the slot to keep the aircon going while I was at dinner and it only worked with the Rydges card – technology is getting smarter. I noticed one of the plugs on the desk was a universal adapter – would be great to see more of that in hotels.

Dinner in the Rydges restaurant – they pushed me to make a booking for dinner when I checked in and said it was filling up, but the restaurant was half empty.

One of the things that annoys me as a solo traveller is the vegetables as sides – I don’t want a full serve of brussel sprouts or carrots but I want a variety of vegetables so I asked if I could have half sprouts and half carrots and of course she had to ask the chef who said yes. I thought the meal was quite good for an airport hotel.

Service at the beginning was very good but waned a bit as the night went on. When I asked for the bill I was asked if I was a Rydges member which got me 20% off – bonus



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VPS

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Next morning walked over to the international terminal and checked in. The place was heaving and the queue to check in even in Business Class was huge so luckily my soon to expire WP allowed me to check in the First queue and there were only a few people waiting there. All checked in and straight to the F lounge where I was asked if I wanted a spa appointment (bonus) and then had to wait 15 minutes for a table. Had the muesli and the corn fritters. Then off to the spa where I had the hot stone massage. As I was taking a photo of the spa room, I nearly had a major fail when I realised that you could see me in the mirror, so I quickly changed angles.

After the spa out to the dining room and time for salt and pepper squid and a Green Faerie.

Then it was off to board on QF27.

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Paddington was excited to be going to South America but a bit disappointed that he wasn't going to Peru to visit his cousins

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VPS

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QF27

J was packed upstairs and down and I was in 11F. Service was good without being outstanding. I had the fish which was actually very good.

I do find it odd that there are only two choices of red and white in J and it’s usually do you want red or white and I want to know what the options are. Also gin choices – just Beefeater for FFS. I did enjoy the White but again the FA had no idea what it was like which I find disappointing

I did get some sleep and arrived in SCL only a few minutes late because of ATC. Luggage took an age to come out. Why do people allow their children to see about 30 cms from the luggage belt – you just want to nudge them with a heavy bag as you get it. I’ve never travelled with so much luggage as I did for this trip.

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I think my seat was watching me when I got on
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VPS

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Quickly through customs and immigration and it’s always good when you see someone holding your name up. Driver took me straight to Hotel San Francisco.

It’s rated as 5 stars but certainly not 5-star standard. Rooms are old and tired. The bedroom was large, but the bathroom was small and only a shub. They did have universal adapters in a couple of power points which was good. Annoying things like there was only a quarter of roll of toilet paper and no spare so you had to ask.

You could see where fittings had been removed and not repaired. There were two lifts but only one of them ever worked which was a bit of pain sometimes. Staff were very nice and helpful though. After a shower went for a walk but then had to be back for drinks with a cruise critic group. I didn’t have any Chilean cash on me and forgot to change some at the hotel and there were stands selling watermelon chunks and lots of ice cream shops and I was very thirsty (another mistake). It was good to meet a few people before the cruise. I wanted to go out to dinner but was fading fast so had dinner in the hotel dining room with another from the Cruise critic group and then crashed.

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This is the warning letter we were given on check in
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It was Saturday so quite a large market on the street and all very buzzy. I didn't feel unsafe at any stage
 

VPS

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I woke around 3am and was awake for a couple of hours then went back into a deep sleep. Up for an ordinary buffet breakfast and at 11am our driver arrived to take us to San Antonio. The car was supposed to take 6 but he was warned that we had a lot of luggage – let’s say it was a very cosy 90-minute drive and a few suitcases were stacked on the front seat and the boot didn’t have any spare space. I would have liked to have stopped a toured a bit, but the others were keen to just get onto the boat. Lots of gum trees on route from Santiago to San Antonio. It was good to "meet" people through cruise critic and I think there were about 15 who had drinks the night before the cruise and caught up again on the first night of the cruise and then we had another quick catch up just before the end of the cruise. This meant I was able to share the costs of getting to San Antonio to catch the cruise.

These are a few photos of around Santiago and en route to the cruise terminal

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My first Pisco Sour (and definitely not my last)

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Dinner drinks - both very pleasant

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VPS

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I was only in Santiago for a few hours and didn't see much but it just didn't grab me so it's not a place that I want to go back to. I should have had a couple of days and tried to get out to the coast and a bit more exploring but you can't do everything

Lots of people trying to sell things on the side of the road.

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JohnM

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Domestic isn’t.
I know, and I've used it - but @Major said International Terminal.

Edit: It seemed like he took the Rydges shuttle from the hotel to the terminal. I've used their shuttle to get from the Domestic to the hotel, but I've never used the inter-terminal airport shuttle.
 
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Major

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I use the T Bus from Domestic to International

Terminal transfers


T-Bus Service



The T-Bus is Sydney Airport’s complimentary shuttle bus service between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals. The service operates frequently throughout the day, 7 days a week, between 6.00am and 8.50pm. The journey takes approximately 10 minutes.
Bus stops are located on the Arrivals level outside each terminal. Check our map for location information.
 
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