So the final day of the 9-day trip was really a non-day, as we'd already handed back our keys and re-stuffed our astronaut suits into our luggage, with the day's ordinary itinerary being a 1-hour van ride from Pucón back to Temuco, then a short 1-hour flight back to Santiago. My excitement of the day came at the Temuco airport security checkpoint, where I nearly lost my tripod. I'd been travelling with it in my carry-on backpack for the entirety of the trip, without issue. (In hindsight, I wouldn't have even packed it, as the pace on the road kept me from finding opportunity to use it since Night 0 when it was deployed to photograph the non-existent Santiago fireworks.) Do I agree with a 2-metre long extendable pole with a chunk of steel on the end being allowed in an airliner cabin? Not particularly. But the American TSA says it's OK, and the airlines don't want checked-bag liability for anything classified as photographic equipment, so it's allowed.
Unless you're in Temuco, Chile! We were already tight for time -- because earlier this morning I'd taken my turn mistaking the group departure time and sauntered out late -- so when the x-ray machine attendant looked disapprovingly at my backpack and wagged her finger at the tripod, I immediately confronted the reality that I'd probably just lost it. After attempting to negotiate through guide Alain's medium Spanish, it was clearly a non-negotiable, so I sprinted back downstairs to the check-in counters to look for a miracle. Much to my surprise, there was no line-up, I was able to be served by the excellent agent who had checked in our group, and -- best of all -- our luggage hadn't even been loaded out of the terminal yet, so I was able to simply stuff it in a checked bag.