Tuesday, February 26, 2013

6) A Bike Box Tale

Rancagua’s Bus Station
Wed Feb 6th 5:00 pm

Elena, giving us hope
Bus Norte was our salvation. Elena, the sales person, was very kind and helpful. We got tickets for Thursday at 11:00 pm, one day after, to Puerto Montt. From Puerto Montt we would have to fly to Punta Arenas. The one advantage of this transaction?  We will make it to Punta on Friday with time to spare for skills test and gear check. 

We still had one more issue to handle: the bike box. Since we were boarding the bus at Rancagua, and the bus route staarts in Santiago, the luggage compartment would be full by the time we boarded. We had to send the box ahead to Osorno. By the time we reach Osorno most passengers and their luggage would have debarked the bus, giving us the coveted space to board our bikes.  Sounded complex, but we went ahead with it. After all, it was our only real option. 

At 10:30 pm on Wednesday we put our bike box into the bus to Osorno. It felt perfectly into the luggage compartment. And once more we felt the joy of having two bikes on one box. Our efforts were paying forward. Suddenly, we felt a rush of energy and celebrated with some Acro and cheers. It felt like the wheels of Karma were finally turning on our behalf. 

Farewell bike box!  We will see you in two days!
Now all we had to do now was wait. Wait 25 hrs to our schedule departure for Puerto Montt.  Wait and get plane tickets!  

Internet was even spottier at this time. We couldn't get a good connection to purchase our tickets. Plus, to get the cheap rates through SkyAir you need to have a Chilean credit card. So, we got our good local friends to make the purchase for us. 

Jorge and Catalina were taking care of the purchase. They had been helping us since we arrived in Santiago 6 days ago. After picking us up at the airport they had a full time job carrying us around Santiago searching for a car and visiting public offices.

Finally some good news!
Nonetheless, the nightmare net of the Chilean system also affected the locals. The SkyAir website didn't allow them to make the purchase. We had to try through another source. 

This is where Rodrigo and Andrea entered our labyrinth of despair offering order and high hopes. We contact them with the huge request:  purchase 3 tickets from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas for tomorrow. They were onboard but they had to wait until later tonight to get home to do so.  We waited, un-patiently. 

A few hours went by, the guys slept on top of our now lighter luggage. I watched a re-run movie with english subtitles. Calm came to us when Rodrigo contacted us to get our travel information and peace came with the news of the purchase.
Left luggage at Bus Station

Ahhhhh, finally all tickets were purchased. We could rest and let go.  Our destiny was set: bus tomorrow night, flight to Punta Arenas the day after.  We got rid of most of our luggage at the 'left luggage' office of the terminal. It was the best spent 7,000 CHP so far. 

Adrenaline levels went back to normal and we felt the effects of 48 hrs without proper sleep. After finding a cozy floor space and inflating our Klymit mats we felt in the deepest sleep we had had in a week.

Waking up at the bus station.  We were too tired to take a picture the night before. :-(

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