Drive to Puerto Montt

21 01 2007

Today we drove down to Puerto Montt. The whole drive took about 10 hours, which is not too bad except that we spent the bulk of that time on the dirt roads, so we were quite shook up.

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The plan was to cross the border today, camp out for the night and then board the ferry the next day. The borders are quite unpredictable around here, so we couldn’t risk driving through it the next day. Our driver told us a story how she had to wait for 26 hours on a Syrian border. Kumuka even authorized our guide to offer a $500 to the border patrol, but they refused. So we decided not to take any chances.

The border patrol is very strict about the stuff that you transport into
Chile. Particularly fruit and vegetables. However, they do like to find stuff. So, while we couldn’t bring anything over, we had to leave some stuff for them to find – a carrot, 3 potatoes and a melon.

They confiscated it all and even made us eat the melon on the border to ensure it was good. Go figure. Maybe they just wanted a piece of it.

Our truck broke down along the way in the middle of nowhere.

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Fortunately, our driver is also a mechanic to he was able to fix it up with a piece of rubber hose. When we got to the closest town, we found a welder which put the part back together for $2. Since another interpretation for WAMM is – What A Mechanic Mess, everything can be expected.

We arrived to a campground which looked like the backyard of somebodys garage. After parking the truck, we set everything up and cooked dinner.

During dinner, one of the other campers ran up to me and started tugging my sleve and yelling – Kometa, Kometa! As it turned out, you could see a comet passing through in the sky, so that was quite an unusual sight.


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