So just to reiterate, I flew from Australia to Santiago and then onto Punta Arenas. Caught a local bus, very modern and efficient to Ushuaia. It was in this village, where, destined to meet my backroads tour, The Saga of the Chilean Visa reared It’s ugly head again.
I arrived at the airport in Adelaide without processed Visa. I had applied for a transit Visa, but not hit the finish button. ( the wrong type anyway) Hence, when I arrived in Chile I was marched to the immigration department where they at last gave me, a single entry Visa valid for 90 days. You would think that I had successfully negotiated the system. You are wrong
Travelling by bus from Punta Arenas in Chile , I crossed the border into Ushuaia, Argentina. In other words, I had affectively left Chile having entered once. But the cruise starting in Argentina, obviously was going to disembark in Punta Arenas Chile for the Patagonia part of the tour. So in reality, what I actually needed was a multiple entry Visa for Chile. I was the only non-American on the trip, and citizens of the United States do not need a Visa to enter Chile. Please be reassured that this information will in no way make me consider applying for citizenship of the United States of America.
So, just as we are having lunch before boarding, our Cape Horn cruise ship, I am pulled aside and told that I cannot embark! To the huge credit of the backroads team, I’m driven into the village of Ushuaia where Patricio the local Backroads representative a delightful, intelligent young man, facilitates the issue of a visa from the local Chile embassy within 48 hours! As luck would have it, he apparently is close personal friend with the woman, who is the local consulate for Chile!
Patricio organises everything for me with eye watering efficiency. He booked a catamaran tour on the Beagle canal, and then finally booked a seat on a bus, returning back to Punta Arena – my second stay in this town! So I set up with the group at long last for the five days in Patagonia, which, as you will, hopefully see from the previous post, more than made up for my missed cruise.
So here I sit back in Punta Arenas for the third time, and hopefully the last , awaiting my flight to Santiago.