January was a very long month and the most stressful in my travels so far. I had started off the month sick with what I thought was a sinus infection after having received a negative antigen test. It turns out the infection was the Omicron variant of Covid-19. This was determined when my PCR test taken in order to travel to my next destination had come back positive, two weeks after my symptoms had cleared up.
After receiving the positive test, I had opted to test again the following day as well as to take another Antigen test as this type of test is a better indication of contagion. The Antigen was once again negative, however the PCR was in fact positive which meant I was unable to travel as intended and needed to stay an extra week in Lima, Peru. My primary concern was that with being unable to travel meant I was overstaying my 90 days allowance in Peru and was worried this would prevent me from visiting the country again. I had reached out to the US Embassy and Peru Immigration and was informed this would not be the case and that I would only be responsible for a fee for each day over.
The other stressful part in all of this was when it came to dealing with airlines, of course. Despite every company noting flexibility due to the ongoing pandemic, in reality when it comes to making changes websites will always fail to facilitate the changes and talking to someone on the phone is impossible. One airline had denied me the refund and the second airline is an ongoing ordeal still. Luckily, I do have travel insurance which would reimburse me for such occurrences or worst-case scenario it is possible to dispute charges. The biggest lesson is to always keep all documentation.
I am relieved to have received a negative PCR test the following day and was able to book last minute flights and a hotel stay in order to enter my final country of this extended adventure. I am currently in Punta Arenas, Chile notable for being located at the southernmost tip of the South American continent. I will be here thru the end of February and plan to go on a whale watch and penguin tour. Also very likely will be a visit to Torres del Paine, a national park known for its beautiful glaciers and lakes. I look forward to sharing the highlights from my time here so check back for updates as they happen.