After precisely 36 hours in Puerto Natales, Chile, we’re getting ready to make the 18 hour trek back to New York City this afternoon. If our experience in Patagonia hadn’t been so unforgettable we’d be more pissed that the travel time coming home is half as long as our stay here.
Actually, the trip is bound to be more than 18 hours. This is the end of the world, after all, and things don’t always go according to plan down here. A persistent gust up from Antarctica or a volcanic eruption could delay our flight back to Santiago, making us miss our connection to the States, forcing us to find a sketchy youth hostel close to the airport, etc. You never really know what to expect when traveling in the far south of South America, it seems.
There is one thing we know we’ll experience when we finally get up in this sky, though:
Just kidding. What you’re looking at is actually a UFO-shaped lenticular cloud, and they’re everywhere down here. Lenticular clouds form in high altitudes near mountain ranges, which explains their abundance in Patagonia. I snapped the above shot from my window seat as we were approaching our destination, and just out of frame is a line of 3 or 4 others that made it seem like a caravan of alien fighter jets was surveying our trajectory.
This “survey” of UFO clouds even followed to our hotel after we’d landed:
So we might not know when we’ll finally arrive home or in what state we will be when we make it there, but one thing is certain: the truth is out there, and we will have an extraterrestrial escort over the Andes.
And that’s really all a frequent flyer could ever ask for.