8:30 left ship. But the big news The bag missing since we left Sydney was on the bus. Chris Martin was one happy man. Uneventful drive to Chile border apart from learning on our arrival that we now
had three extra bags on the bus. Apparently an Indian family saw us putting our bags out at the designated time and thought they should too, the crew efficiently loaded them all in the bus with ours. We have net result of bags at the moment of 3+ ( they were found by the driver and sent back on next but going to Porto Natales)
After 20 minutes in the gift shop we and quick passport check were set off in no man’s land for a few miles.
Neither in Chile or in Argentina we arrived at Argentinian border crossing at 10:30am.
Ivan our guide anticipated we would have to queue for two hours. At 2:45pm (4+hours) the last of our group were processed. It was a long wait standing in line in a shack in middle of nowhere with toilet facilities no water and no food. The haphazard queen was a mess until Jill Christine and few of the ladies got it sorted out.
Henry and Grant made sure there were no queue jumpers, Peter was pronounced Mr Organised for having the foresight to bring his book and the girls just had to cross their legs but the boys ventured out the back for relief but this required a degree of skill to avoid those who had been before them.
The rest of us shuffled forward a few steps at a time. Any wonder we could resist the urge to cheer after hearing that stamp bang down and leave the window (after a 30 second stay) Four hours to get to the window and processed within seconds and away. One guy processing Chile to Argentina and One guy (with hardly a person at the window) Argentina to Chile.
The first food place was some 1 hour 30 minutes down the road. The toilet facilities were worse than none at all but the sandwiches were okay although expensive. Back on the bus for the final 2 hour run into Calafate. Here for two nights.
After a very slick bag drop at Hotel Koi Aiken then it was off to the ice bar in El Calafate for most of the group. Another new experience for most luckily everyone was able to get some sleep on the bus after at roadhouse along the way (some highway robbery was evident during the purchase of a quick lunch)
Another late dinner of what turned out to be tasty chicken and very large potato wedges, true to form not a veggie in sight. Everyone turned in quickly after dinner as is becoming the new normal it was after 11pm. The bus pick up was 7.45am for our final visit to a glacier followed by visit and dinner on a Estancia (farm) tomorrow night