Dan B. and I took a trip to South America a few weeks ago. Here are the photos from Mexico City, where I stayed overnight and for one afternoon in transit, and also the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile.

The volcano Ixtlazihuatl. Or Iztaccihuatl? Wikipedia gives one spelling; the highway signs another. In any case, it is the third-highest peak in Mexico, at 17160 feet. The peak appeared for a total of maybe 45 seconds and I was quite fortunate to get this shot. It’s the only mountain I saw in the Mexico City area – Popocatepetl, several miles to the south, remained hidden by clouds the whole time.

Monte Fitzroy, Argentina. I took the color out of this photo when I realized that the best way to cut through all the haze was to just start with only the green channel of the original photo. We will see this mountain from somewhat closer as one of our primary destinations on our trip.

Tijuana airport. I actually took off from here, instead of San Diego, because it was $300 cheaper for a similar itinerary – via Aeromexico instead of something like Delta. I got dropped off at the Otay crossing, walked across the border, and hopped a cab for two miles to the airport. Easy.

A Volaris jet is serviced in preparation for departure.

Taking off into the sunset.

One last airplane shot, because it’s our turn to go.

Next morning – my view from the hotel in Mexico City. They said it was close to the airport – they weren’t lying! the hotel was originally unplanned, but Aeromexico had changed their itinerary and had to completely rebook me. I could not have made my connection to Santiago that night, so I slipped about 18 hours. It must be noted that Aeromexico paid for everything – including a hotel and two meals, and I would highly recommend them as a travel option, especially to those living in a border city like San Diego!

Encountering the notorious traffic of Mexico City? (We’ll get to it soon.)

There is a state called Mexico. It’s inside the country called Mexico, and just outside the city called Mexico.

Older license plate. Probably not valid anymore. Probably nobody cares!

Traffic problems are exacerbated by the absence of lane striping.

That might mean something.

Oddly, the expressway to Puebla was signed 150D everywhere else.

A dead-straight road east, filled with vehicles and smog. Driving in Mexico City is a bear.

a State of Mexico shield sneaks in. As do block fonts.

Traffic becomes lighter as we head toward the mountains.

The Mexican standard of signing both a main road, and a loop off of it into a town, with the same number.

Two major volcanoes. At this time, neither is visible.

This older steel sign has seen days of more stable mounting.

We’ve turned around – need to get back to the airport!

State highway 5D is a new ring road around Mexico City.

That’s federal route 57D, for those wondering, not a hasty attempt at making a 5D state shield.

We get on the new ring road, just for variety’s sake. It actually takes me several attempts, and at least one extra toll payment, because everything is signed pretty poorly.

Extra-large bridge inventory marker.

This variable message sign may be powered by either sunlight or wind.

Sometimes it is sufficient to identify a toll road with just a letter “D” and no number.

And we’re back at the Mexico City airport.

I slept through most of the flight to Santiago. Here, it is dawn, and we are about to land.

As can be seen from the airport, Santiago has a bit of a smog problem.

Another plane, ready to take off.

Time to head south.

Volcanoes are all over Chile.

Looking down at some sharp mountains.

Mountains and halo.

High clouds, and even higher mountains.

Osorno Volcano. We’re getting close to landing in Puerto Montt. After that, our next stop is Punta Arenas.

Coming in for a landing.

a DC-3 parked at Puerto Montt.

Looking out the west side of the plane now. This is Lake General Carrera or Lake Buenos Aires, depending on whom you’re talking to. Chile and Argentina cannot agree on much. We will see this lake from the ground in several days.

A look at Viedma Glacier. We will be seeing this from the ground as well, albeit not particularly closely.

Approaching Punta Arenas – we’re just about to land.

And we have landed.

In a precursor of circumstances to come – it is windy.