Day 1: South Pole journey's first stop in Santiago, Chile

Dr. Heather Ross
Group shot of the Test Your Limits team in Santiago, Chile.

We are in Santiago........bumpy, bumpy flight.

It felt like an almost day 1 .....mostly because we avoided two near catastrophes.

1) Michel was nearly stranded in Montreal under feet and feet of snow and made the connection with about 10 minutes to spare. Shockingly, all of his luggage actually made it to Santiago!

2) Last minute tech issues nearly sank us but we are good and we can’t thank Tom from enough for the last minute advice at all hours of the day and night yesterday. Man, you rock!

It is 80 degrees (30 centigrade) sunny and gorgeous. Our guide, Dr. D. Greig (one of our heart failure fellows), is here on his Christmas break. He has rented a van and we are off for a tour! Lunch at a traditional Chilean restaurant. Found out that Chile is actually known for their Pisco Sours.

Santiago has a population of 4 million. We saw the tanks and cop cars that they used to quell a rebellion in 1973. The tank shoots water and the cop car: tear gas. Thankfully, there’s no revolution tonight.

We think we are going to be experiencing a bit of a thermometer joke over the next few days -10 in Toronto., +30 in Santiago, +20 in Punta and -30 in Antarctica... Tough to yo-yo like that!

Santiago is pretty quiet today as they are preparing for the New Years Day Celebration. They have closed the centre of the town. We did a walkabout and had a look at some of the old town - beautiful. Apparently they have different styles of “cafes” here. There are the type that we are used to, where you get a coffee.....and then there is the other type where the doors are smoked and the waitresses wear very short skirts. We went to the first variety. Nowhere to shop - I do like to support the local economy where able.

Boys had a bunch of local beers and we ate at the Airport Hotel. We are up in six hours for our next flight to Punta.

Cheers from Diego, Dale, Michel and Heather

Dr. Heather Ross is travelling to the South Pole to raise awareness for heart disease.
Follow her Journey to the Bottom of the Earth exclusively on Yahoo! Canada.