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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Santiago - La Serena Bus Comparison

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 09:50:08 -0400 (CLT)

I work shifts in La Serena, "live" in Santiago, and the trip is an
overnight (7 hour) bus ride.  This thread is to record experiences with
various bus companies.

Historically I used to use Libac, but they have been unreliable - the last
time I used them, they left late (after every other option had gone) in an
old "normal" bus, although I had bought a "salon cama" ticket (no refund).

Next I tried Pullman salon cama, but that showed adverts (for Nestle) on
the TV (no films; just adverts!).

Since then I've use Romani salon cama, which has been very reliable, has
no adverts, and has a good ride and newish, clean buses.  Price is around
10-14.000.  The only problems are: the seats have strange cushioning that
means you have to sit in the middle (salon cama seats are wide and it is
more comfortable to curl up in them, but this is not possible); apparently
random pricing (including the possibility to bribe the guy selling
tickets); recently they stopped letting people get off in providencia and
instead have a separate "transfer".

So last night I tried Pullman semi-cama (Pullman and Romani are the two
companies that leave from Providencia).  It was a "transfer" to San
Borges.  The bus itself was a fairly old Atacama line.  Service was
friendly, there was a blanket and pillow (not as fancy as salon cama), and
the seat was comfortable, with good legroom.  The main problems were:
rather fierce heating coming up by the window for the first few hours
(difficult to sleep facing that side); nowhere to put glasses (on Romani I
hang them from the "rope" that holds back the curtain, missing here); an
obtrusive cup holder at about leg height; a price of 9.000 that wasn't
significantly lower than Romani salon cama (at its lowest).

For the return I may try Pullman semi-cama again, or Romani semi-cama. 
Looking at the web, I can get Tur-Bus for 7.500 if I apply for the
discount card (but Tur-Bus is not a local company).

Andrew

Newer Bus Info

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2008 07:31:11 -0300 (CLST)

For more information on buses in Chile, see
http://www.acooke.org/cute/BusTravelf0.html

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