How will the protests affect our trip?

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helibel
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How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by helibel » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:35 am

We are scheduled to arrive at SCL in about 2 weeks. I just wrote the following email to the gentleman who rents us a car every year. I would appreciate any input.

I am sorry we have not answered sooner. We are trying to understand how the protests in Chile will affect our trip. We arrive at about 5 am in the morning , our usual plan is to wait at the airport until the car is ready and drive to Lo Barnechea and spend the day and one night visiting with family and head south to Llifen on Lago Ranco. The news tells us Santiago is paralyzed and we do not understand what that means. Are the roads open? Are the gas stations open?
Are we better off not spending anytime in Santiago and just getting in the car and heading South? Are there any problems on route 5? Will we be able to get Gas?
We fly back a few weeks later of at 7AM and plan on spending the night at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel. We could return the car late in the afternoon of the second.
We have been hesitant to book anyThing that can not be changed or refunded Until we understand the situation. My cousins have been silent so far.

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41southchile
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by 41southchile » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:50 am

helibel wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:35 am
We are scheduled to arrive at SCL in about 2 weeks. I just wrote the following email to the gentleman who rents us a car every year. I would appreciate any input.

I am sorry we have not answered sooner. We are trying to understand how the protests in Chile will affect our trip. We arrive at about 5 am in the morning , our usual plan is to wait at the airport until the car is ready and drive to Lo Barnechea and spend the day and one night visiting with family and head south to Llifen on Lago Ranco. The news tells us Santiago is paralyzed and we do not understand what that means. Are the roads open? Are the gas stations open?
Are we better off not spending anytime in Santiago and just getting in the car and heading South? Are there any problems on route 5? Will we be able to get Gas?
We fly back a few weeks later of at 7AM and plan on spending the night at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel. We could return the car late in the afternoon of the second.
We have been hesitant to book anyThing that can not be changed or refunded Until we understand the situation. My cousins have been silent so far.
Had a friend arrived Thursday from Colorado into Santiago , he bussed into the Bus station from Airport Thursday morning, hung round most of the day and caught the night bus South. No issues at all he said, apart from some new graffiti on the buildings. Curfews have been lifted, and apart from the usual feral types of people that have existed all along in society, not much else to say. Generally life goes on as normally and safely as it did before, just dont hang out after dark in sketchy urban areas, which would have been true before the riots anyway. Have a good trip.
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Dosedmonkey
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by Dosedmonkey » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:34 am

I don't think anyone can predict what will happen in two weeks. This whole last week was a bit out of the blue. If you haven't perhaps insure your vacation as comprehensively as you can asap.

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helibel
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by helibel » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:44 am

We have a house in the south , so no extra extra expense if we cancel and our flights are insured. I think we will be fine if we can get to Lago Ranco fairly efficiently. My husband is in total
Denial that this will effect our plans. I am more concerned about getting gas and protests at toll booths but have no idea if that s a legitimate concern?

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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by lost gringo » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:45 am

The situation has calmed quite a bit to generally normal but it can change in a matter of hours as evidenced a week ago Friday. Be prepared to wing if things change and definitely heed the advice given in the above posts. Buen viaje.
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41southchile
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by 41southchile » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:09 am

helibel wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:44 am
We have a house in the south , so no extra extra expense if we cancel and our flights are insured. I think we will be fine if we can get to Lago Ranco fairly efficiently. My husband is in total
Denial that this will effect our plans. I am more concerned about getting gas and protests at toll booths but have no idea if that s a legitimate concern?
There have been some minor attacks and such on toll booths, at night and stopped most times. Gas has been fine between stgo and Puerto Montt as far as I've heard even after the mass panic buying earlier in the week. I think you are right, get to Lago Ranco and dont spend too much time in Stgo or other urban centers. Thats more a just in case sort of thing rather than any particular issue, as you might get caught out in a protest and stone through a car window. Other than that, I wouldn't be in total denial, but I wouldn't be put off either, just have your wits about you and be sensible i.e dont travel at night alone on highways, early morning is good (protestors are not early risers), and you should be fine.
I can't decide for you. You'll have to make up your own mind.

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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by Britkid » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:33 am

It's hard to say what will happen in 2 weeks. Copec have been sending me emails saying which gas stations are open and it has been consistently more than 90% of them. Sometimes the hours were shortened but that may be going back to normal.

Supermarkets can be a danger area because of looting. Criminal activity in general is probably on the increase.

There have been some hotels attacked and vandalized, but only a few, pretty isolated incidents. Consider avoiding hotels in Santiago or city centres. Looks like that's what you are planning in any case.

I would stay out of Santiago mostly or entirely. I am not sure about the route from the airport to Lo Barnechea.

Most roads are open most of the time.

It would no surprise at all if Route 5 gets blocked at some point between Santiago and your destination, this has already happened multiple times, so far I think for hours rather than days. Set out very early - I assume you are planning to do this in 1 day - and aim to get there by early afternoon.

Often people only find out about protests the day before so keep an eye on the news or post here 1 day before traveling south.

There have been some issues at the airport but I think it's been working fairly normally with some delays. This may have cleared up by the time you get here.

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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by admin » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:39 am

helibel wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:35 am
We are scheduled to arrive at SCL in about 2 weeks. I just wrote the following email to the gentleman who rents us a car every year. I would appreciate any input.

I am sorry we have not answered sooner. We are trying to understand how the protests in Chile will affect our trip. We arrive at about 5 am in the morning , our usual plan is to wait at the airport until the car is ready and drive to Lo Barnechea and spend the day and one night visiting with family and head south to Llifen on Lago Ranco. The news tells us Santiago is paralyzed and we do not understand what that means. Are the roads open? Are the gas stations open?
Are we better off not spending anytime in Santiago and just getting in the car and heading South? Are there any problems on route 5? Will we be able to get Gas?
We fly back a few weeks later of at 7AM and plan on spending the night at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel. We could return the car late in the afternoon of the second.
We have been hesitant to book anyThing that can not be changed or refunded Until we understand the situation. My cousins have been silent so far.
Even in the worse of it so far earlier this week, everything you had planned orginally was still possible with a few adjustments, and some patients with delays.

I would say get out of Santiago. less people, less problems. on the highway, watchout for sudden protests popping up to block the highway. more of a traffic issue than a security issue. keep your tank filled up as much as possible. not so much a shortage of gas problem, as if you get caught in traffic jam caused by a protest, it can cause a long wait.

keep an eye on the waze traffic app. it does a good job reporting problems, and providing alternative routs around trouble in chile.

of course a couple of weeks, who knows how this plays out. as long as the politicians do not do anything too stupid, most of the protest should be fairly localized and controlled. They start dragging their feet too much working towards reforms, and I don't think anyone in the country has a tolerance for that.

If you see waze report "lynching ahead", that would be Pinera and Congress swinging from a lamp post. :lol: get your camera ready.
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helibel
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by helibel » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:13 pm

An alternative plan is to fly on to Valdivia that same morning we arrive and rent a car there. We would skip the family visit in lo Barnechea and any hotel/Airbnb stay on arrival. We could see how things develop and decide when we are in Chile about visiting them on our way out .
We haven’t bought internal tickets in Chile in many many years, we like to drive but remember that there are issues buying tickets from afar. Is that still the case?

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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:21 pm

helibel wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:13 pm
are issues buying tickets from afar. Is that still the case?
Nopo.
There are two ways to be fooled.

One is to believe what isn't true;

the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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hlf2888
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by hlf2888 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:54 am

A trucker friend told me most highway and Ruta 5 closures happen between 6 and 9 pm so if you restrict your highway to before 6 or after 10 you should be ok...with the aforementioned app. Happy trails

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Dosedmonkey
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Re: How will the protests affect our trip?

Post by Dosedmonkey » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:29 am

Sounds like standard Santiago being described above to be fair. Horrendous traffic jams can occur and impromptu protests, check. Rocks being thrown or trying to rob your car. Check. I think if you go to the nicer areas you'll be as safe as you ever was, and the areas in between like Centro can always turn in to a protestor riot zone at a drop of a hat.

I was always impressed by the strength of the train windows when you got the train from Santiago to Buin zoo direction, San Bernardo kids used to pelt it with some pretty huge rocks.

I think Valpo sounds the most out of character last night. I mean Valpo has it's rough suburbs, but usually during the day it is quite a tranquil and touristy town.

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