Steve and I are in the process of crossing the border into Argentina. We went to the airline office this morning just before dawn and waited on the sidewalk until it opened at 9:00 a.m. We were first in a line of approximately 100-150 people seeking information about flights out of Chile. All we were able to learn was (1) there were going to be no flights today from Chile out of the country; (2) it was unknown when flights out would resume; (3) Chile is very low on jet fuel with no way to get any in; and (4) even if were to get to Santiago, we would then be on a very long waiting list of foreigners holding tickets out of the country, and those holding tickets for the flights on the day we were trying to fly would be prioritized. In other words, it seemed that we were not going to be able to exit Chile by air any time soon. Of course, it is possible that all of that will change by tomorrow, but because busses only run twice a week from the little town where we were to Argentina, we had to seize the day and go.
We are now trying to get through Argentinian customs. We have been on a gravel road on a bus for about 3 ½ hours so far and will not arrive in Comodoro, Argentina (where there is an airport) for about seven more.
Once we get to Comodoro, we will begin trying to get on a flight out through Buenos Aires or Lima. However, we are being told that there are also thousands of foreigners waiting to get out through these routes. The upside is that we are being told that there are actually flights going there and that there is jet fuel! So, Argentina now appears to be our best bet.
I do not currently have Internet access and so am writing this email not sure when I will be able to send it. It is currently Monday afternoon. I am hoping that we will be able to get on a flight tomorrow, back to the States by Wednesday, and back to work on Thursday. However, I just don’t know. I’ll update you when I do.
Thanks again for all of your help.