This is just a quick note to say that we have made it back to Sydney safely.
The task of transferring and sorting photos from the trip must now begin, and we will have to get down stories of the travel in Antarctica fairly quickly, before the memories start to fade. So there will (yet) be photos, just slightly retrospective.
We are now inured to the smell of penguin guano, although perhaps we have been more successful at scrubbing it off our outer-clothes than suspected, because neither the airport dogs nor those waiting for us at home have been particularly excited by the smell of us or our luggage. I am very slightly disappointed by that, I think.
I had been slightly worried about the flight home for most of the trip, because (despite reassurance by the airline check-in attendant in Sydney) the flight had never shown up in the itinerary of the Latam app on my phone, nor was it visible when looked-up by booking code on the Latam web-site. We received no app or e-mail invitation to check-in, either, as we had for all of the other flights. We arrived at the airport in Santiago last night in plenty of time (about 8:30PM, for a 1:30AM flight) which is just as well, as we spent about three quarters of an hour at the check-in counter while the attendant first couldn’t find any record of us, then (when I showed her the ticket receipt) she disappeared across the hall into a ticketing back-room for twenty minutes. She returned all smiles though: we were indeed going to be traveling, it’s just that our flight had been changed from LA801 (via Auckland) to LA803 (direct to Sydney). It hadn’t occurred to their systems or anyone to actually update that information in our itinerary, or e-mail us or whatever. Also good: we still had our extra-legroom seat allocation, although since the aeroplane itself had changed, that put us up against the first bulkhead, rather than the couple of rows back that I had hoped for. Turned out not to be too bad: all of our carry-on luggage fitted into the overhead bin, and the legroom was good enough. Indeed, we both think we had about as much rest on a flight as we ever had, and have arrived quite chirpy (especially after the administration of a couple of good coffees, at home).
Interesting possibility, based on the in-flight info flight path diagram, is that the furthest south that we reached on the trip might very well have been last night: