I headed to the airport at 5.30am. Only when I got there did I realise that my flight was not non-stop but would actually involve stops in Iquique and Copiapó. I knew that between Copiapó and Santiago we'd fly over La Silla, and I wanted to look out for it. We flew over central Iquique, and then it was mostly cloudy from Iquique to Copiapó as the morning fog rolled in off the Pacific.
I started dozing just after we left Copiapó, and soon fell fast asleep. Suddenly I woke, infuriated with myself because I was sure we must have passed La Silla. I looked out of the window and right below me, as clear as anything, was the observatory.