The time had come to cross an entire country yet again! OK, well perhaps not… in this case we did have to cross a part of Chile though – even though WE DIDN’T WANT TO… as unfortunately due to various wars, treaties, etc etc the boundary lines between Chile and Argentina are not very convenient or sensible.. yeah, but where is I suppose.. anyway, what this means is that the part of Argentina with Ushuaia in it, is not connected to the rest of Argentina, meaning that to go from Rio Gallegos, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina you must go through Chile. As Ushuaia is on Tierra del Fuego, then you also get a ferry thrown in for good measure (the ferry is in Chilean territory)
Our bus was scheduled at 9am, and meant to arrive at 8pm. What time do you think it arrived?! 🙂 Place your bets now…..
Anyway, the process is basically:
Drive for an hour
Custom post to exit Argentina
Custom post to enter Chile
Drive for a couple more hours
Take the ferry – around 20/30 minutes wait and 30 minute crossing
Drive another couple of hours
Custom post to exit Chile
Custom post to enter Argentina
Drive for around 2 hours to Rio Grande
Wait for 90 minutes in Rio Grande because the new bus driver is late coming to work….
Arrive in Ushuaia at 9.30pm…..
I think that the Wait for 90 minutes in Rio Grande because the new bus driver is late coming to work…. is not part of the normal journey – that bit was just for us 🙂
Anyway, it’s quite long, but not too bad really – the Argentinians seem to ignore you when you leave this way, so you actually don’t get stamped out of Argentina, but you do get stamped in again when you cross back over – meaning that that there is a lonely entry stamp in your passport without a matching exit stamp – HOW UNTIDY 🙁
The other downside is that you can’t carry cheese sandwiches for lunch on the bus, as all meat, dairy etc. etc.cannot be taken into Chile (like in Australia), so after an hour on the bus when you enter Chile you can only have biscuits and other allowed foodstuffs.
The ferry is good, as you can get out and stretch your legs, and also we saw dolphins and penguins in the water 🙂 🙂 🙂
Apart from the big delay in Rio Grande, all was fairly smooth considering there were 2 border crossings and a ferry – GOOD ONE. 🙂
We were ready for Ushuaia! But even in the middle of summer, the weather of Ushuaia was not really ready for us…. 🙁