Viaje a Chile! The day before yesterday I began a 48 hour binge of planes, taxis, and buses. Only about 10 hours left until I arrive in Las Trancas, Chile.
Our flight landed us in Panama, with a 9 hour layover in the middle of the day, so we decided to head out and check out the city. Our skillful bargaining (basically saying “Barato” over and over), brought down the price of a ride to the Panama Canal from $40 to $25. After a hectic drive through the city, we arrived at the Miraflores Locks, the last for ships headed to the Pacific through the Canal. It was pretty impressive watching this 100 year old engineering marvel at work, two huge ships passed in the 45 minutes we were there. We asked the taxi driver to take us to some cheap food, and then made our way through even worse traffic to the airport.
At the airport, we had to bring our carry-ons back through security. I had two airbag canisters in my pack. I’ve flown a fair bit in the States with airbag canisters, and it hasn’t been a problem. However as soon as I started taking them out of my bag, the security agent shook his head, and mimed beating another agent over the head. I was suprised to find he knew what an airbag pack was, but wasn’t going to let it through. Getting the message, I ran around the airport (I’d been told that running around airports is something one tends to do while enjoying this type of traveling, so, proof), trying to find a way to get the canisters to Santiago.
Eventually they let me pack the air cans as a checked bag free of charge, and I headed over to security again. This time they barely let my pack full of carabiners, a fuel bottle (disguised as a water bottle), dynafit bindings, and ski boots through. We hopped on our flight, and in Santiago I found my little blue bag of airbag canisters on the luggage belt. Shew.
I’m now headed to the bus station to catch a bus to Chillán, and then Las Trancas. Hopefully by the next report I’ll have gotten on some snow for backcountry skiing. It’s definitely winter here, the cold outside feels good.