T – We were both heading for the ferry offices nice and early today. We wanted to grab a ticket for the next available ferry and didn’t want to chance missing out! If there was no ferry or no tickets then we would pack up tomorrow and head down the Carretera Austral.
C – We had contemplated booking the tickets yesterday through an agent who was opened. But I had convinced Todd we should wait until we could speak with the ferry company direct as I felt there might a chance we could a discount as it is low season. Fingers crossed my theory would work!!
T – Well, our luck was in. Not only could we get a ticket on the ferry, but there was one leaving tomorrow and we were on it if we wanted, plus, we could have it at half price, plus, we would get a free upgrade to a nicer room.
Done and done! We handed over the money and soon we had us and the bikes booked for a cruise down to Puerto Natales. Woohoo! This was kind of exciting as it meant we would get to see some parts of Chile not accessible by road. Plus we could shave off the best part of 2000 kms of riding in cold rain!
We had to return to the ticket office at 5pm to pick up our tickets and we would board in the morning at 8am. Bloody ripper! So we went off in search of some shoes as our sandals are letting a tad to much cold air in these days.
When we returned to pick up the tickets we were informed that the plan had changed. We would now be boarding at 11pm TONIGHT! Yikes!!!
C – It was such an incredibly exciting day! To score the tickets at such a discounted rate and then discover we have to board tonight. We were both just so excited!
T – We raced back to our hotel and packed everything up and got ourselves ready to rumble.
At 11pm we were at the weighbridge having our bikes weighed. Apparently 200kg each. I doubt that very muchly! We were told we would be boarding very shortly and to hang out in the warm waiting room while the staff supplied us with coffee. Such lovely people these Chileans.
Well it was 3am when we finally got the call to board. And wouldn’t you know it, Mabel wouldnt start. Her clutch bound up and her kickstart flopped up and down uselessly. Good timing Mabes. A nearby trucker we had been chatting to gave me a push start and soon we were flying up into the hold of the ferry in a blur of red death and slipping clutch plates. But we were on!
We found our way up to our cabin and we were surprised to find that we had been upgraded to a AAA cabin! That meant heating, hot water and a window to the views outside. Bonus! Sometimes it pays to travel in the low season, even if you get told “It cant be done, and it certainly can’t be done on those bikes”.
We were both absolutely buggered and just crashed out in bed. The ferry was due to leave around 10ish in the morning and would take 4 days to make its way to Puerto Natales.