Chaiten

Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, January 6, 2007

Chaiten is a small town of 3,300 in Patagonia Chile. The main reason for our "express" visit to chaiten was MONEY. We traveled 140 kms over land in hopes of finding a bank machine to access funds. Chaiten seemed like our best bet.

The chappa took several hours and passed through stunning scenery including LagoYelcho. Upon our arrival we were ecstatic to find a bank, and a machine. Unfortunately, the only bank would not accept our bank cards or visa. Hm mm, so the only bank in the province would not accept our cards. AHHHHHHHHHHH. They will however accept MasterCard for those of you that are planning a visit. Unfortunately, I did not have a pin number LOL. How on earth are we going to get cash? Travel to the next province? You bet ya.

 It was becoming very apparent that we had to chose between, staying the night, eating or getting off the province. My emergency fund could not cover all. Fortunately chaiten is also the ferry port to Chiloe,Chile (another province and banking system) and our next planned stop.

Upon arrival at the terminal I noticed "VISA" and it nearly brought a tear to my eye. After a short and difficult conversation is Spanish we learned that the "visa machine" was no longer on the province and its on its way to Porto Mont. ????? I think I missed a few Spanish words. No no, not at all. The young woman behind the counter lifted a hand full of wires, and pointed out a window to a boat that sailed to Pt Mont. We are screwed!!!!!

Fortunately, we had enough funds to buy two tickets to Chile with 5 peso cents left over. Unfortunately, we could not eat LOL.

Next time I step off the beaten path without a guide book, I'll have en ought common sense to bring some local funds.
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