Just so you can all understand how adventurous the two days were before actually arriving in Chile...
The morning started with a flat tyre, then with the lady at the QANTAS counter asking me how much my carry on weighed... This has never happened. Because I wanted to carry my laptop, camera and lenses with me, I was over the allowed 7kg, so I spent a sweaty 10 minutes rearranging things around to satisfy her. Little did she know that I placed my laptop against the counter so it wasn't counted. At this point, everything is now fine. However, upon arriving in Auckland, I went to the international departures lounge to settle in for the next 5 hours as my next flight wasn't due out until 1815 (I arrived at 1230). When I looked at the board, the flight was not listed. Then when I looked at my boarding pass, the time listed was 1030.
My first thought was that I was issued an incorrect boarding pass. No worries! I will have to get a new one printed. I was instructed to ask the lady at the Airport Information desk, where a lady was waiting there from Peru with the same boarding pass issue. I am not alone. Here the LATAM Helpdesk was contacted, where we discovered that the flight out at 1815 had been cancelled due to operational issues. We then had to "arrive" before we could get any further assistance.
We then, myself and my new friend Lucia from Peru - that could barely speak english, proceeded to customs. Lucia stayed there, because she didn't have an entry visa. I then went to collect my bag. But before that, I had to declare my luggage. Because I had lost my first arrival card, I had to walk to a desk on Planet Pluto to get another one, and in my stressed and sweaty state, didn't declare I had camping equipment - only that I had food. The guy lectured me about it, so I lectured him about cancelled flights. He then lectured me about where I had been camping, so I told him Australia. He then decided my tent needed to be scanned to be sure nothing harmful, like Australian soil, could escape.
So there I was, entering Auckland arrivals hall, where nobody was waiting for me except my unpacked tent. I dropped to my knees, in front of all the happy faces and drivers, to pack the tent away. When I finally got to the LATAM counter, I was given an apology letter, a voucher for meals and a nights accomodation in Auckland. The flight would depart the next morning at 1130.
You can imagine how happy I was to see the 787 dreamliner the next day.
Lucia also made it, but had to sleep on the floor as she didn't have a visa. It turns out she is the owner and Chef of a restaurant in Lima. She gave me her business card so that I could come visit - One adventure leads to another.