How a Good Hostel Can Be Hard To Find


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South America » Argentina » Córdoba
May 15th 2007
Published: May 15th 2007
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Here we are in buzzing Cordoba, Argentina's second largest city. Getting here was a dream and the semi-cama Flecha Bus was so comfy, we all managed to get a decent amount of sleep on the way down from Salta. Well, everyone but me that is because I made the mistake of drinking a big bottle of Pepsi Max before we travelled so I was riding a caffeine high until well past 2am!

When we arrived in Cordoba bus terminal, we parted company with Chet and Carly as we had all booked separate places to stay. We decided to walk to our hostel to save the taxi fare but it was much farther than we expected and it was hard work trying to negociate the pedestrianised shopping area with all our luggage in tow. People aren't so good at moving out of your way here and it was a truly frustrating experience.

When we arrived at the Beluch Hostel, my first impressions weren't good. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the place per se, I just had a bad feeling about it. I've learned not to judge a hostel purely on first impressions but it wasn't long before we started thinking about going somewhere else. For a start, our bed was pretty knackered and the window to our room was broken making it cold and draughty even though the sun was shining outside. The shared bathroom was depressingly small and dingy. Then there was the building work with the workers completely blocking our only access route with stepladders and power tools so that trying to get in and out again was like walking through a minefield. The noise carried on until 9.30 pm but by this time we already knew we would be leaving the next day - the constant ringing of the doorbell right outside our room was driving us insane!

We checked out another hostel called Palenque and it looked lovely so we reserved a room for the following day. We tried to take breakfast at the Beluch before we left but were completely ignored by all the staff. We checked out feeling really peeved and hoping that the Palenque would be better but things still didn 't improve. At the Palenque we found the staff to be really friendly and the hostel had a nice homely feel to it. What we didn't know when we looked at the placed last night was that there are only 3 bathrooms/toilets for over 20 guests and none of the rooms have keys so you can't lock up your stuff. When we got our room, we were expected to make the bed ourselves which was only a minor gripe but then the power sockets didn't work in our either, so we gave up and left. I don't know about you but the idea that someone could walk into our room at any time just felt uncomfortable.

Once again we hit the road and decided to try out the local Hosteling International place, the Cordoba Backpackers. We agreed that if this didn't pan out, we would jump on the next bus to Buenos Aires. Thankfully, they had a nice room for us with private bathroom for 60 Pesos, only 10 Pesos more than the other hostels which only had shared facilities. We're actually staying across the road from the main hostel so it's lovely and quiet (except for the traffic noise outside)and we almost have the free internet and kitchen to ourselves. The room itself is nothing fancy but we have a heater which is a godsend on these chilly autumn evenings and the bed is fab. I guess it really was a case of third time lucky!

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