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Published: November 23rd 2008
After uncertainty and definitely anxiety of a strike threat involving Chilean immigration and customs staff, the day came when I would get the bus back to Santiago for my flight home the following day. I was very concerned because if the strike happened the consequences I would face would obviously seriously affect my plans returning home such as missing my flight! The threat did not help my issues I had in Mendoza. However it turned out not to be any problems at all. I got the bus OK and the bus was half empty. I think many travellers have deterred travelling to Chile because of the strike threat. The only bother I had were companies hassling me to buy tickets for Chile! I explained to them that I already prebooked my ticket. Obviously, the sales would be down because of people not travelling.
As I travelling, my relief was being released all the time. We rode through some amazing scenery on both the Chilean and Argentine sides. I saw the spots where we stopped the day before when I was on Alta Montana tour. Remember that I was concerned about my entry into Argentina? Well, I had a friendly immigration
Police Officer and there were no problems with the paperwork and exiting Argentina. I felt so relieved! But this was short lived because we spent over two hours in Chilean immigration and customs. The Chilean immigration police and customs staff were in full force and were extremely stringent as ever as if no strikes happened at all. Border Police kept making repeat visits on the bus and questioning everyone. The sniffer dog kept making repeat visits on the coach including the toilets and rubbish! A passenger spent a long time in customs justifying an innocent present she bought someone. I got into trouble by putting the incorrect destination on my customs form. I have never seen so much scrutiny in my life. I thought Australia´s and New Zealand´s customs were bad but this is even worse. It was not fun to say the least. Afterwards, it was quite a long journey to Santiago descending into the Andes. We arrived at the bus station at 9.45 pm and I got the metro to my hotel, the one where I stayed the first night. At least on this occasion, they were expecting me! I had a bath after three and half weeks
Chile´s Two Welcomes!
One before stingy customs and....
of showers and thoroughly enjoyed it! Then I nipped out to my favourite restaurant, El Huerto, for something to eat. Eventually, I settled down for my final night of my trip.
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