The Holiday from Hell

I am stuffed, stuck and crucified, in limbo in Ushuaia, Argentina awaiting the issue of a re-entry visa to Chile! This dream holiday post pandemic, using my accumulated Qantas vouchers, has turned into an unmitigated disaster. And it is entirely of my own making.

Quite simply I turn up at Adelaide airport without a valid visa for Chile.

My enforced imprisonment in Ushuaia is as bread and water , compared to a colleague MK, who was stuck on a luxury boutique cruise ship after an Antartica adventure when Covid-19 overnight literally threw an iron fence around continents and countries. So whilst she sailed at sea imprisoned, isolated and immune, eating Eggs Benedict, smoked salmon and champagne, for a month up and down the coast of South America I sit in a forlorn lodge hotel awaiting the verdict of the local Chilean customs in Ushuaia.

This is a summary – I join the Backroads tour Sunday. we set off in morning hike, our passports had all been collected for preparation to board the cruise ship Australis around 5pm. At lunch the tour leader says “Russ we need to talk!” (remember I am Graham aka Russ). So the visa graciously issued at Santiago by the gun touting immigration officer was for s SINGLE entry! … the cruise ship will not allow me to embark without a valid visa as we are to disembark back at Punta Arenas.. Jesus wept !

As the genuinely distressed Backroads man explained if they let you on board, when the Chilean immigration officers come on board on Monday and discover you are visa-less, the boat will be forced to turn around back to Ushuaia!

Looking across the Beagle channel from Argentina to Chile
The trek along the coastal path in the “Land of Fire”.


Whilst I do not have the actual visa stamp in my passport, I am reassured by the very efficient and hard-working, local representative of the travel company that my visa has been processed . I collect it at 9:30 am in the morning

5 thoughts on “The Holiday from Hell

  1. On the upside, here is some advice from DFAT’s Smart Traveller.

    “Muggings and robberies are common in urban areas. Pick-pocketing and bag snatching is common. Be aware in crowded areas.
    Hotspots for thieves include:
    Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Calama.”


  2. Oh Graham, what a nightmare your holiday has turned into. Hope it gets sorted in time for trip.

    Pamela 0408 877 412

    Sent from my iPad



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s