• Day54

    Fixing odds and ends

    November 22, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    There were still a few odds and ends that needed to be fixed before we could move on so we decided to do those this day.
    First off was to find out the cost of the bus tickets to Iquique at the bus terminal opposite our hostel. This was to compare costs with the rental options. It turned out to be quite reasonable at between 6000 - 10000 CLP.
    The morning was a bit slow. We managed to get good wifi and spent the morning calling home etc.
    After that, we had our breakfast and then decided to go to the Ministry of Telecomunicaciones to register our phones. Phones bought outside of Chile don't work here according to a new legislation effective since a few days ago. Eventually, after trying all the operators, we had found out that we'll need to register the IMEI number of our phones at the Ministry of Telecomunicaciones to make it work. The office closes at 13:00 so that was our 1st destination for the day after the breakfast.
    On the way, we passed the local fish market where they were even selling Ceviche.
    At the Ministry of Telecom, we managed to find out that they don't do the registration and that we'll have to do it ourselves and submit all the required papers online.
    We sat at a cafe with wifi and did all the registration formalities. The website was all in Spanish, we needed to submit a screenshot of the phone IMEI, a picture of the phone with the IMEI number visible, copy of passport, copy of the immigration form etc before the application went through. Keeping our fingers crossed it will work now.
    By this time it was lunch hour so we had our food. After lunch, we checked at the other 2 car rental agencies. Klasse was closed due to vacations. Hertz had the had the vehicles but the vehicles available were the same we had got for the Salar de Uyuni and we were not too happy with its power and effectiveness. Plus, Hertz was almost double the cost of the Europcar quote.
    With no reasonable option and running out of things to do, it looked like we were stuck in Arica for some more time.
    Not having any other ideas, we realized that we had 20 min before the Tourist Information center would close. We had been there before, but due to the limited time of operations, we had always found them closed.
    We managed to walk the 2 kms in 5-6 min and reached before they closed for the day. Here, we finally found the lady at the counter spoke excellent English. She was able to help us with a lot of information and maps but didn't know any more tour operators or car rentals than we had already checked.
    Having run out of ideas and absolutely no plan or even option for a plan, we just decided to chill and go to the beach.
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