Thursday, June 11, Noon
Finally arrived in Chile after two nights without a bed and the 14-hour flight from Madrid. The first incident of note to report was my bus to Gatwick having an accident at Heathrow Airport bus station. The driver made a mess of his wing after hitting first gear instead of reverse. We had to wait an hour for a new bus to take us to Gatwick.
Madrid was good value. Managed to do three hours of sightseeing and also get up to speed with some of the squads for the Copa America over a coffee or two in the park.
Iberia flight took 14 hours and they fed me on tomatoes and cucumbers for all my meals. They seemed to think vegetarians don´t eat anything else! At least the red wine was decent.
Arrived in Santiago at 8am. Took a good 1.5 hours to get through customs as the airport was rammed with Copa fans, many of them Mexicans. A door-to-door shuttle service got me to my hostel (H Rado) where the roof top terrace (pictured above) is a sweet spot for morning coffee and views of the city. Time for a shower and to get myself down to the Stadion Nacional to pick up my ticket for tonight´s opening match between the hosts and Ecuador. There is a great buzz in the city from what I´ve seen so far and I keep hearing sporadic chanting and cheers coming from the streets all around. It is a cold but beautifully sunny day! Bring on the 2015 CopaAmerica!!