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Long but Reliable: Buses of Chile!

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Hello Everyone! Gerrod here to tell you about some of the long bus rides that we opted to take in Chile. The last time I wrote about our transportation mishaps, I was essentially writing a long letter of complaints. This time there were not as many mishaps, but rather some hard-learned lessons.

Bus One: San Pedro to Santiago

The first bus was scheduled to leave at 9:15am, so we planned to get there around 8:45 am just to be safe. After the walk into our AirBnB after our arrival to San Pedro de Atacama, we realized rolling our bags all that way may not be the best idea this time. We decided that for the first time ever we would convert our Osprey bags into their secondary form: backpack. It took a little bit of time to get them set up, but we were able to move much faster.

We arrived at the bus station at 8:45 as intended and checked our bags in. We boarded the bus and prepared for our long 22 hour bus ride to Santiago. We did some prep-planning for this trip by downloading Netflix shows and bringing some video games. Lauren bided her time watching Netflix, while I switched be playing Switch and listening to Podcasts. The bus had charging ports for USB cords, so we were set to entertain ourselves for the entire ride.

Lauren chilling on the bus

Lesson One: Bring Snacks

The bus ride drove us through so much of the northern desert of Chile. The route took us towards the coast where we would finally see the Pacific Ocean in Chile. The air had a lot more moisture! Around 2pm we had to get off the bus for a fuel stop at on of the bus stations.

View of the desert with some distant windmills and mountains

So far we had not been given any snacks or food. It was Thanksgiving back in the States, so on a day where we were used to gorging ourselves with food, we found ourselves sitting on a bus starving.

There were a few points where the bus driver let locals onto the bus to sell food and drinks, but we assured ourselves we would get food at some point. If you have been keeping up with the blog so far, then you might be aware that our short 7 hour bus ride in Peru provided us with a small meal almost immediately. We came to realize that same courtesy would not be found here. That being said we decided to grab some fries, drinks, and giant avocado covered hot dogs to satiate ourselves until the next stop.

Lesson Two: Sleeping is Hard on the Bus

The bus continued to play movies as we ate snacks that we had left over from the desert for dinner. We never stopped for food again. We drove through the night and tried to sleep, but the A/C would turn on and off making it either too cold or too hot to get truly restful sleep. We finally arrived in Santiago just before 7am. As we roused ourselves to get our bags and head into the bus station, I forgot both my headphones and portable charger on the bus thanks to my weary mind. We headed into the station to figure out what to do until our next bus.

Stay tuned for a future post about what we did with our 12 hour “layover” in Santiago!

Bus Two: Santiago to Puerto Montt

After a long day in Santiago we finally headed back to the bus terminal to take the night bus to Puerto Montt. This time we prepared with adequate snacks for the 12 hour bus ride that would take us through the night.

The bus ride was very uneventful as most of it was in the dark, so most of the time we attempted to sleep. Whenever sleep would not take us, then we would kill time with other means of entertainment be it music, games, podcasts, or some downloaded Netflix. And after what seemed like no time at all compared to the first bus, we found ourselves in Puerto Montt.


Gerrod (and Lauren)

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