It was dark through most of the hours after departure from Atlanta at 10:45pm on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Many on the plane slept as the screens offered movies, TV shows and flight status updates throughout the night. And then light appeared through the windows announcing the pending arrival into Santiago. John Dooley and I were on this flight and the rest of the group had arrived earlier in the morning.
The Andes were spectacular – looming large and majestic. The tallest mountain peak in the western hemisphere appeared as we flew silently through the air space and slowly descended into Santiago. Andes on the left and shorter mountains below that appeared slightly below the plane. The lines of the vineyards cut neatly along the mountain sides. And the valleys – several as we continued our descent. And finally Santiago appeared below.
We had arrived at our destination and once through customs, we transitioned to the Santiago Park Plaza Hotel. At noon-ish, the group of eight gathered and the PFP Global Perspectives: Chile came to life.