The Castro to Chaiten ferry disaster!
I arrived at the extremely uninviting passenger terminal of Castro at 7pm. I wanted to drop off my bags and grab some food. My ferry was due to depart at midnight and I was so very excited. I would get to travel to Chaiten in style. My destination was across on the mainland and considerably further South than my current position. When I arrived at the entrance gate I was stopped by the security guard who fired a heavy barrage of Spanish at me. Not understanding a word, I joyfully waved my ticket at him. Nonchalantly he pulled out his mobile phone and quickly tapped the keys. Turning the phone to me, a message read: “but it has gone.” He tapped a few more keys. “Come back next week.” He was obviously using a translator app but the message was clear, I had missed my ferry. I have no idea how their 24-hour clock works but it is clearly different to the one I use. It transpired that my ferry had left on the 18th not the 19th.
I wearily trudged back to the bus station with a heavy heart. Luckily I managed to catch the last bus back to Ancud – I really did not want to stay a minute longer in Castro. I returned to my previous hostel. Tail between my legs, but with the best smile I could muster, I explained my predicament. Thankfully they had a bed available and thankfully there were a few familiar faces with whom I could drown my sorrows over a beer.
This error will cost me time and money – I have a little more of one than I do the other.
1. £25.00 on a wasted ferry ticket.
2. I will have to travel 12-hours, by bus, to Bariloche in Argentina.
3. The only sensible option left, to get me to El Calafeta and Glacier Perito Moreno, will be to fly from Bariloche.
4. The flight will cost £175.00 one way.
5. I will waste 5-days waiting for busses and a flight – it’s peak season here at the moment.
Scale of error: Imagine you are in Shrewsbury and in order to get to Bedford you have to travel via Penrith. A round trip of nearly 400 miles. At least this way I do save The 48-hour bus journey from Chaiten to El Calafate. Every cloud has a ……… .
Next stage: Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt to Bariloche (Argentina).