After a great afternoon on Easter Island with my new friend Alex, who asked for a postcard from the States, I was back where I started...at the airport...again.
At this point, I had done an overnight flight to arrive in Santiago, was there for the day, flew overnight to Easter Island and spent 1-5 a.m. in the Lima airport (BAH!) and then was doing another overnight flight back to Easter Island. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Landed back in Santiago around 8 a.m. and picked up my rucksack. I had planned to go straight to the bus station and get a ticket, drop my bag there and spend the day exploring. But I was far too exhausted. So I headed back to the hostel and hoped for a free bed to take a nap. Luckily, there was a bed and everyone in the room was awake and out so I could fall into bed, without changing, again and sleep.
Several hours later, I was still tired, but seriously, time to get up and explore. Showered and put on cleanish clothes (was conserving for the trip) and wandered out into the streets of Santiago. First, I found the bus terminal to make sure I had a seat on the bus to Puerto Montt, OVERNIGHT! AHH!
Bus ticket secured, I made my way to the market Antonio had recommended to pick up some souvenirs. Only thing, it was clear across town. Tried to hop on a bus, but that was too much trouble and time consuming to figure out, so I just kept walking. By the time I got to the market I was so flipping tired and hot I wanted to sleep on a bench. But, I stupidly wore my college t-shirt and looked so much like a tourist it was ridiculous. And since no clock I found had the correct time, I decided it was safer to get back and not miss the bus.
Ran into Yoan, the Swiss guy, at the hostel and we shared a cab to the bus station. His bus was earlier and the cab was late, so he nearly missed it, but made it. I managed to grab a snack for the ride. We left at 8:45 a.m. and arrived in Puerto Montt around 9 a.m. the next morning. The guy next to me only spoke Spanish, so we attempted some conversation, but didn't get far. Eventually, he went to the empty seats behind us and I could sort of stretch out and sleep.
Worried that I'd miss my stop, as I've done in other countries, I kept asking if every stop was Puerto Montt. It wasn't. But I went all the way downstairs at one stop just to be sure. That's where Carlo and I first met. He assured me we were not in Puerto Montt yet. Phew.
Later, in Puerto Montt, Carlo and I established that we were both catching the Navimag ferry, so we set off to find the terminal together. Luckily it wasn't far. It was overcast and rainy so I was just hoping to not have rain for the entire four days on the boat.
We found Yoan, checked in, dropped luggage, wandered the streets to find breakfast that sadly included Nescafe...awful instant coffee. Carlo went exploring, Yoan read his book in French and I went in search of Internet access. Fun emails awaited as I got a job offer just before boarding the ferry, excellent news (more on this later)!
Then back to the terminal to make sure I didn't miss the boat! I'll save that for another post.