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Published: November 1st 2008
Dawn at El Huerto
Having lunch at one of my fave veggie cafes.
My flight to Santiago via Paris was pretty uneventful and, of course, long!! 13 hours+!!! Met a friendly chap on my Manchester to Paris flight who was going to Argentina (his wife is Argentine). We exchanged travel plans and he gave me some trips travelling through Argentina. He also correct my pronunciations such as BARI-LO-CHE. There were also a large group of rugby players who were touring in Santiago and Vina Del Mar.
On my way to the hotel, I purchased my ticket for Puerto Varas. For a cama seat, it works out only 25 GBP! Those prices, I will not pay back in the UK even for an ordinary seat nor it would be comfy. The bus station was crazy with people going off here and there and everywhere as it is Chilean public holiday on 31 October and 1 November.
I was welcomed with a "no reservation" shown on the system at the hotel. I could not believe it!! I have been on the road for 24 hours+ and all I want to do is drop my luggage off, freshen up and get some lunch!!! Now I have this blip to sort out!! I insisted on reception doing a thorough check through their systems and still there was no reservation. However, they had my reservation for my last night of the trip but not tonight! They said they could give me a room but I had to pay for it. I was not prepared to pay 170 USD - No way!!! I refused to pay this for a room, which I considered, already paid. A combination of principle and budget. There was nothing more they could do so I suggested being helped in finding acommodation within my budget. They were more than happy to help me and found me an apart hotel next door for 50 USD per room. So I agreed to go for it as a reasonable compromise.
Once I settled in and just about to go out for lunch, I learnt that they had my reservation after all! My travel agent must have used another travel agent to make the reservation hence the confusion!! I did not know whether to laugh or cry. I was beginning to grow fond of the other hotel and the room I had was so cosy. However, I felt it was best going back to the hotel as I already paid for it and got my refund from the apart hotel. I then decided to escape for lunch before they changed their minds again!
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