Monday, February 25, 2013

5) Please sell me a bus ticket

5) Please sell me a bus ticket
Rancagua Bus Station
Wed Feb 6th, 3:00 PM

500 lbs on a tow... Heading to the Bus Station
We had our grand entrance to the bus station on a tow truck full of gear. Downloaded our 550 lbs to the closest corner and went on a mission to find bus tickets to Punta Arenas, while Tom guarded/slept on the gear. 

All our Casino Internet research told was that we could go from:

  1. Rancagua to Punta Arenas through Osorno by bus, or 
  2. Rancagua to Puerto Montt and then fly to Punta Arenas
Flying was a faster option but much more expensive considering our excess weight.  Sam and I headed on a mission to find tickets. I was the translator. Sam was the only person with a RUT number. 

See all those bus companies?  We spoke to most!
Once again we were sent from one bus booth to another searching for a place with open seats to Punta Arenas. We found it!  The bus company Cruz Del Sur had 5 tickets for tomorrow night!!! We just had to sleep in the bus station for a night and spend the day there. Perfect!  We were tired so resting in one place for a day sounded appealing. Wait, not so fast. 

Again nothing comes simple to this crew. The guy would not sell us the tickets without a form from the Argentinian consulate. Some form that I had to fill out and pay online. I tried to explain to him that he could sell me the tickets, put them aside and then give them to me once I give him the Argentinean paperwork. I was afraid that with our luck the tickets would sell before I finish swimming the bureaucratic ocean. But it was no-possible…

The mighty 'Form' at the Argentinian site.  
Did I mention that nothing comes easy for this crew? The internet at the bus station was too spotty for our computer to connect. The cybercaf√© was out of order and the 'mobile' version of the consulate page was a nightmare.  As I was finishing the first form, the guy from Cruz Del Sur came to me with unfortunate news:  One of the five tickets had sold. He was now concerned that we would not have tickets. By the time we reached his booth, another ticket had sold. Only 3 left!  Well, that's all we need. 

In a rush he started filling out the form.  The tension from all parts was tangible.  He was asking questions and typing slowly, I couldn't take it anymore, so I took over.  As soon as the first passenger’s information was on the computer the power went out in the whole station. 

The power was out for just a few minutes, but to us all it felt like hours. By the time he was able to login again one more ticket had sold. Getting to Punta Arenas directly by bus was no longer an option. 

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