I don’t care if you are taking a train for an hour or a flight for 8 hours. DO NOT PLAN ANYTHING ELSE FOR THAT DAY. We arrived to the Lima airport for a flight to Cusco. All flights were grounded due to weather. An unnamed French woman was going crazy. “What do you mean the flights are grounded? I am supposed to see Machu Picchu today. I have tickets!” Not a happy person. She was trying to fly from Lima to Cusco, Bus to Ollantaytambo and a train to Aguas Calientes and then the bus up the side of the mountain to the entrance.
In a perfect world this would take 5 hours. I did this is three days so I could take in the sites on the way. She most likely missed Machu Picchu or certainly didn’t spend nearly enough time there. I spent two full days inside the site including hiking Huayna Picchu. Don’t try to see too much. Really take the time to see a place. An hour and a half tour is not enough time.
We get to the Argentina border with 7 other buses. It takes an hour to get stamped out of the country. We continue on to the Chilean border. There is a strike country wide. The border is closed. Well, until 13:30 the border is closed. They open for one hour every three hours. They are on strike. They are two of the three branches of Government we need to cross the border. So we arrive at 11:20 am and we wait till 13:30 to cross the Chilean border.
There is a couple that is on a day trip. This is a problem for them. The driver is trying to help them get through faster. I wish them luck. A four hour bus ride to El Chalten and the couple seeing Torres Del Paine on a day trip even without the border strike is not enough time to see much. They make arrangements. Good for them. We have time. We were catching a 15:00 bus in Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas and should still make that. If not we will catch another. It is a travel day.
In my journal I kept for our trip there were many days I wrote: No Problem, it’s a travel day.