The Longest Travel Day in the World

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
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38
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Trip End Aug 15, 2013


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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, February 24, 2013

We had made the choice to spend all of our time in Chile in Valparaiso, deciding to bypass any time in the big city.  So we spoke with the owner of our apartment about taking a bus back to Santiago Sunday evening, since our flight wasn't due to leave until around midnight that day.  "No problem," we were told, "the buses run all night, every half an hour or so."  So around 5:30pm we headed to the bus station in order to give ourselves plenty of time to get into the city and find our way to the airport. We walked up to the first bus company's teller only to be told the buses are sold out to Santiago that night.  We stopped at the next company, and the next company, only to be told the same thing.  What were we going to do in order to catch our flight later that night?  Not quite panicking yet, I thought we might offer to buy tickets off of one of the hundreds of people standing around the station.  Or maybe we could check the cost on a taxi.  Then we heard a man at the entrance to the station yelling out "Santiago!" We walked over to investigate and found out that he was filling up a bus to go to Santiago outside the station.  So we threw our bags on and waited almost an hour for him to get a full bus.  The bus was quite old so we were leery about our chances of making the nearly two hour trip.  Even more so once we saw a bus from the same company half way there that was broken down beside the highway full of passengers!  But we did make it and then hopped on the airport connection with just enough time before passenger check in.

At the airport however, we discovered that our flight had been delayed until noon the next day.  A twelve hour delay!  We had to wait in line for two hours to get our hotel and meal vouchers and then we were bussed back into the city and put up in a very nice hotel.  We ate dinner there at midnight and were up to leave at 8am in the morning to be back at the airport.  Needless to say, the boys were not impressed!  This time we left on time and began the long flight to Aukland for our connection.  Caleb was the only one of us that had a quick catnap.  The great news is the flight was not even half full, so we each had our own row to lay down and be entertained by movie after movie!  We were definitely deprived of English television while in South America!  

Landing in Aukland we had a quick check in for our connecting flight to Melbourne.  But.....we were delayed again as someone had stolen an exit plate off of the plane and they couldn't find a replacement part.  For two hours we parked ourselves on the airport chairs and waited.  Aiden fell dead asleep and when the time finally came to board the plane, I had to carry him on.  The rest of the journey was uneventful and our dear friend Toby was there to greet us in Melbourne.
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Comments

grandma on

wow, that was quite an adventure! I am sure you were very happy to the smiling face of Toby.

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