Yesterday we checked into a hotel in Cochrane and then stayed up until 3am researching our route, trying to determine when we could reasonably expect to arrive in Ushuaia. Then today we spent four hours trying to buy our tickets home. Trying to do anything online is near impossible down here, sometimes more challenging than the biking!
In keeping with the way we travel, we’re taking the long way home. We will use a combination of buses, boat, and a plane. Here’s the plan: After we finish in Ushuaia, Argentina we’ll take a 15 hour bus back to Puerto Natales, Chile. In Puerto Natales we’ll board the Navimag ferry for a 4-day sail to Puerto Montt. Click here for a preview of the boat’s itinerary. Then in Puerto Montt we’ll take a 12 hour bus to Santiago where we’ll get on a plane and fly back to the USA. Our bikes and gear are coming with us.
After hours of frustration, we were able to book the ferry but not our flights. We’re not sure if it’s an issue with the internet connection, the foreign IP address, our credit card, or the airline’s website. The ferry is the same boat through southern Chile’s archipelago that we tried to catch coming south, but missed because it was sold out. We’re excited we’ll end up doing this after all.
We made the decision to fly out of Santiago, Chile instead of Ushuaia, Argentina because 1) we really want to float through the remote and uninhabited islands of southern Chile, 2) the flights out of Santiago are half the price of those out of Ushuaia, and 3) Scott has a travel voucher that cannot be used out of Ushuaia’s airport.
The boat departs from Puerto Natales, Chile on March 17th, about a month from now. We are about 1000 miles from our end point in Ushuaia, Argentina. For the first time in a long time, we’re on a schedule. For the first time ever, this trip is no longer open-ended.
Ready or not, we’re going home next month.