Although my travels got off to a less-than-ideal start with exceptionally heavy traffic to the San Francisco Airport (it took over 2 1/2 hours to get there), everything went smoothly from SFO to Santiago Chile. The flights were on time and I managed to get some sleep on the overnight flight to Chile. I was surprised to see on the map that we flew almost directly over Havana Cuba.
Upon arrival, my luggage appeared quickly, I purchased a ticket for the taxi ride, got some cash from the ATM and had a pleasant taxi ride to the Hotel Bidasoa. To my great surprise and satisfaction, my room was ready at 10:30 in the morning when I arrived. All in all, it was probably my best international arrival experience ever, with no hitches.
The tour group does not assemble until Saturday, so I will try to plan a more structured day of sightseeing for Friday, probably using the Hop-on/Hop-off Turistik tour bus. I did spend a day in Santiago in 2011 with a private guide, so I have seen most of the principal attractions, at least cursorily.
The weather is fantastic -- temperature is in the eighties and not a drop of rain is forecast for the two weeks I will be here.