Sunday, 29 January 2017

After a 36 hour day.

Five years ago we lived in Valparaiso for a year (see our Chilean blog here).  So our journey begins returning to Valpo for a few days to refresh the girls' memories of their time here.

Australia and Mexico are the only two countries whose citizens have to pay a reciprocity fee to enter Chile via the airport.  Australians pay US$117 whereas Mexico only pays $23.  As a family of five, $117 x 5 plus the exchange rate is (fingers come out) 5 lots of 100 is 500, 5 lots of 17 is… more money than we wanted to pay.  Perhaps our government needs to drop this reciprocity fee so that Chile will drop theirs.

After the flight from Australia we were apprehensive about spending two hours on a bus to Valparaíso and agreed that a shuttle would be a lovely treat.  As we left the Santiago airport we were greeted by a plethora of taxi drivers.  Some had very official taxi signs, hand printed onto pieces of cardboard while others had laminated their signs with sticky tape, fancy.  We know from past experience that the average Chilean taxi cannot hold a family of five and their luggage, so we went in search of Harper family sized vehicle.  One man told us he had such a vehicle and once we had agreed on a price he directed us to his “van”.  A five seater SUV is not a van, not even if you rearrange the letters.  It may be a svu or a vsu or even a vus but not a van.  The laws of physics were changed so that our luggage fitted into the boot and our crew were squished into the back seat.  Luckily Depp is only small. 


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