But Patagonia and Chile are probably my favourite. Chile looks like myself, long and skinny. Ranging from the Atacama desert in the North to Patagonia itself in the South. Patagonia is a land of mountains, charming towns and trees blown sideways after years of buffeting from the wind.
I hoped ideally to run Patagonia, but with the flight from Antarctica arriving 3 hours prior to my flight to Santiago, the choice was made, I’d run Santiago instead. The change in flight would also mean an opportunity to get RunTheWorld done even quicker than anticipated, with the pay off being less recovery time between runs. Potentially 3 of the ultras may be within 36 hours which is tight at best.
Santiago enjoys the fantastic backdrop of the high Andes, with peaks over 6,000 metres visible from down town. The views from the airport are mind blowing, with flights diving in through the hills.
I ran the 50kms largely rurally, through lemon groves, vineyards, around some local hills and so on. Santiago itself was covered in smog, so going rurally was miles better and enjoyable. Perhaps the principle difficulty was the temperature of plus 30 Celsius, and combined with a lack of sleep this was difficult. It was 45 degrees warmer than Antarctica and I felt it. Fellow Scot, and ice marathoner Steve Burnie joined me for 20kms, before I went completely mad in the airport buffet.
Next stop North America.